Adventures of a Kidney Donor

September 25, 2015

Michigan Libraries for Life 2015

mich lib for lifeOctober is the month for the annual Michigan Libraries for Life campaign. My library, Capital Area District Libraries is participating to

help spread the word about organ donation and to help people sign on to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. From Monday, Oct. 5 to Friday, Oct. 9 you can visit participating CADL libraries* to learn more or to sign up with the Registry. It only takes a few minutes but the impact is enormous! Shout out to our neighbor, East Lansing Public Library is also participating.

About 3,400 people are waiting for a life-saving organ in Michigan today.  Twenty-one people die each day because an organ transplant was not available in time. Your decision to someday donate could save up to eight lives. Your tissue can ease the pain and improve the lives of up to 50 more sick, injured and blind people.

Probably someone you know has been or will be impacted by the need for an organ or tissue. We have several library staff members directly impacted by organ donation:

Bridget cuts the ribbon for the 2015 Greater Lansing Kidney Walk Photo by mikidneywalk

Bridget cuts the ribbon for the 2015 Greater Lansing Kidney Walk
Photo by mikidneywalk

Jon from Information Technology: A few years ago, Jon’s young daughter Bridget was diagnosed with the extremely rare chronic kidney disorder Nephronophthisis which damaged both of her kidneys. Fortunately, Bridget didn’t have to go on the waiting list. Her mom Amy gave her the gift of life, donating one of her kidneys to Bridget.

Kiersten and her 10th anniversary kidney cake!

Kiersten and her 10th anniversary kidney cake!

Kiersten from Circulation was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease several years ago. She had started dialysis when her best friend Theresa stepped up to give her the gift of life in 2003. When Theresa found out she was a match for her friend she had only one thing to say at the time: “Let’s do this!”

If you have been reading my blog posts, you know why I am so passionate about organ donation. My dear friend Jackie bravely battled polycystic kidney disease and dialysis for years. She inspired me to donate a kidney to a stranger in 2011. Thankfully Jackie received a kidney in 2010!

*If you live in the greater Lansing area, visit a participating CADL library or East Lansing Public Library during the campaign. If you are a Michiganian, see if your local library is participating. If not, ask them to join next year!

CADL location and times:

Join the Michigan Registry or Join the Registry in your state.


July 16, 2010

Making Organ Donation Easier

Good news from our (Michigan) Secretary of State’s office! Our SOS proposes to add a check box on Michigan tax forms so people can more easily join the Michigan’s Organ Donor Registry. I applaud that. I have to say, I am a big lefty and usually don’t see Republicans stepping up on issues like this but Secretary Land has. There are no Republicans or Democrats when it comes to our organ shortage crisis, just people in need and people who can help.

If you live in Michigan, please sign up!  if you live elsewhere, check out your state’s registry. I talked to Jackie about this and we think that if our blogs do nothing more than get more donors to register we will be very happy!

Here is the press release:

Land proposes expanding Organ Donor Registry with tax form checkoff

July 9, 2010

Residents would get another way to give gift of life.

Michigan residents wishing to sign up as organ donors could simply check a box on their annual tax form, under a proposal offered today by Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

“This will greatly complement our ongoing efforts to encourage organ donation,” said Land, a longtime champion of the cause. “It provides residents with another fast, convenient way to sign up. It also allows us to reach every Michigan taxpayer at virtually no cost, which is especially important in these lean fiscal times. The need for organ donors continues to grow. This is an easy, cost-effective way to give the gift of life to the thousands of our friends and neighbors statewide who are in need.”

Tax filers would have the option of marking a box that allows their names to be added to Michigan’s Organ Donor Registry. It would be similar to the current section of the form that asks whether filers want a portion of their taxes to go to the State Campaign Fund.

“There are other advantages as well,” Land said. “It doesn’t force people to make immediate decisions about organ donation. They can think about it before filing their tax return. It also gives them time to discuss their wishes with family members which is always a good idea. The tax return even provides a permanent record of the donor’s decision. I look forward to working with the Legislature so that potential organ donors can enjoy this convenient option as soon as possible.”

Signing up on the registry only takes a minute. It can now be done online at Michigan Secretary of State or at any Secretary of State office.

Land continues to actively promote public awareness of the need for organ donors. She and other advocates partnered again this year to celebrate Donate Life Month in April. The observance included Buddy Day, during which more than 400 volunteers visited Secretary of State offices to encourage organ and tissue donation. Due in part to these events, about 145,000 names have been added to the donor registry so far this year.

Land also created the Shining Star award in 2005 to recognize those who show exceptional dedication and extraordinary effort in furthering the cause. More than 16 individuals and organizations have been honored.

Under Land’s leadership, Secretary of State offices participate in the “Tell Us Now” campaign. The initiative features counter mats and other informational items that let customers know they can sign up for the organ donor registry.

Residents who sign up as donors receive a heart sticker for the front of their driver’s license or state identification card. The sticker quickly alerts medical personnel and emergency responders of the cardholder’s wishes. Land reminds residents to sign up again if they enrolled in the past but don’t have a heart logo on their license.

Visit Michigan Secretary of State for more information about organ donation or other Secretary of State services.

Copyright © 2010 State of Michigan


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