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    Posted May 4, 2012 by
    Rapid City, South Dakota

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    A Love Worth Saving

    My best friend and the love of my life is sick. VERY sick. He is waiting-for-a-double-lung-transplant-sick.

    This means he is dependent on oxygen. 24 hours a day. He can’t go anywhere without it. Not even across the room. And sometimes the oxygen tank he has with him at all times doesn’t provide enough oxygen to help him catch his breath. He can walk five steps and take five minutes just to recover.

    So, you may be thinking, why doesn’t he just get it taken care of? Well, that is a good question. The truth is that the wait for organ donations is incredibly long. Some people are on the waiting list for years. Often people, actually quite often, die just waiting for a donor.

    Some rather grim statistics were released this week with Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that Facebook would be adding an organ donation option to the site. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), more than 114,000 Americans are currently on waiting lists for transplants of kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs. More than 6,600 died last year waiting for an organ.
    Organ donation, a tough subject to talk about. Especially if you actually think about it and what it actually entails.
    Because, as we all know, for someone to get a donation, someone else has to die. A family loses a loved one, someone loses their best friend, and countless others are left to mourn the loss of someone who meant something to them or had an impact on their life somehow.
    But once you get past that….and realize that when you leave this earth, you can actually live on in countless people through organ and tissue donations. You can give someone a second chance at life, you can give someone sight, you can make certain that someone’s heart continues to beat, through the gift of YOUR heart. What better way to honor life than through the act of saving another one?
    I have watched Michael’s health decline for the past few years. Slowly at first and then rapidly. It is tough. And sad. He used to be strong and take care of me. Now I take care of him.
    Sometimes I think that I struggle to breathe as much as he does. But my struggle is fueled by panic and fear….the fear of losing the man I love so dearly, the fear of losing my best friend.
    Maybe this story will encourage you to sign up to be an organ donor. I know it is a tough choice to make. But wouldn’t it be amazing to know that someone is seeing the world through your very eyes, breathing in deeply with your lungs and feeling forever grateful that you shared that miraculous gift of life so that they could live on.

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