Editorial: Give a little bit

Imagine the best gift you’ve ever received. Do you remember the feeling you had when you got it? How exciting it was? How thankful you were to get it?

Now imagine giving someone a gift infinitely better. Imagine saving someone’s life with the stroke of a pen.

The month of April is Donate Life Month. Established in 2003, the month is dedicated to the people who have chosen to become organ, tissue, marrow and blood donors, according to OrganDonor.gov. It is also devoted to encouraging more people to save lives by signing up to become donors.

With that in mind, this month marks the beginning of the Donate Life Campus Challenge. The three state universities, ASU, UA and NAU, will compete to register the most organ donors. With the population of ASU far exceeding the other universities, it’s easy to assume that ASU could beat out the competition — but the turnout last year was disappointing. UA had nearly eight times as many donors as ASU. Acceptable? We don’t think so. While we applaud its ability to sign up 400 donors, UA should never have the upper hand, and ASU can certainly beat them this go-round.

But donating a kidney or heart or lung deserves a better incentive than besting our neighbors to the South. We don’t blame you if you’re confused or apprehensive.

On it’s surface, putting your name on a list to have your vital organs removed isn’t really a comforting thought, but let’s look at it another way.

According to OrganDonor.gov, nearly 100,000 people are in need of organ transplants. Each donor could save the lives up to 50 people. If you could save even one person by doing almost nothing, wouldn’t it give a greater meaning to your life?

No one likes the thought of having his or her organs surgically removed after he or she has died — even if it generally makes no difference to his or her outside appearance. But being able to give life, even in death — that is something amazing. To know that when you’ve passed on from this life, someone will keep living because you had the strength to give a remarkable gift … that is something unbelievable for the recipient, their loved ones and yours.

No one will stalk you, waiting for you to keel over and die, scalpel at the ready; but this month especially, we have the chance to really make the circle of life a circle of life —something we’ve appreciated since Disney released “The Lion King.”

If your survival depended on someone else’s giving heart (yes, physically and metaphorically), would you want a chance at living?

So take some time to think about it. Google it and see if this is something you’re interested in. If so, you might just be the most generous person in a stranger’s life.


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