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Check the box, save a life

posted Apr 19, 2019, 9:24 AM by Andrew Tichy

By: Grace Halvorson

Currently, there are 113,000 people in the United States waiting. Though what they’re waiting for is a little more important than their Starbucks to be ready, or the traffic to clear during rush hour. They are waiting for the chance to live. According to the US Department of Human Health and Services, as of January 2019, the list of men, women, and children waiting for various organs exceeds 113,000. And this massive list of people is in desperate need of help, as 20 people die every day while waiting for a donor match, and another person is added to the list every 10 minutes.

But there’s a massive gap. Over 95% of adults in the United States support organ donation, but only 58% are actually signed up to be donors. With a disparity this huge, it is critical that we continue to encourage people to sign up to be donors. One prominent way to register is at the DMV. When new drivers receive their permit or license, it is very easy to put a quick check mark to signify the decision to become a donor. There’s definitely factors to consider prior to making the choice, such as religious beliefs or personal values, but many who choose to become a donor are excited about the possibility of saving someone’s life. Annika Werlinger made the choice to be a donor a few months ago when she received her permit. “I decided to be a donor because I could one day save lives. Someone else could benefit from my organs, because after I die, I will no longer have a use for them.” She’s very confident in her decision, and remembers talking to her parents beforehand so that they could be aware of her wishes.

However, organ donorship can be difficult, considering many factors have to align in order to be a candidate to donate. Another method of donating is blood donation. This is a simpler, faster procedure that can be done at a blood drive or a blood donation center. The only requirements are that the donor must be at least 16 years of age, weigh over 110 pounds, and be in good general health. Considering someone in the United States needs blood every 2 seconds, this is a crucial service. Moorhead High has a blood drive coming up next week, so make sure to sign up to either donate or help! Students who have participated in the past love that they are helping people in need. Jonah Hanson, a junior, states that he donates blood because “picturing the smiles on the little kids’ faces when they get my blood is worth it.” He continues, stating that “they need it more than we do!”. Ask a Key Club member for details, or stop by the main gym to donate! Be sure to check out this incredible experience this week, and consider checking the box to become a donor!