I Am a Donor This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 24, 2009
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Have you ever wanted to be a superhero? If you have the word “donor” on your driver’s license or permit, you may just get to be one. Knowing you can save lives by simply checking a box on a piece of paper is a great feeling. The day I went to the Public Safety Building in my small town, I knew I was making a life-changing decision.

In November 2008, I applied for my driving permit. A lady started to explain what being a donor meant, and I immediately checked the box. I clearly understood that being a donor is about saving lives when your life can’t be saved. I have experienced tragedies, and some of those people who died could have been saved by an organ, blood, bone marrow, or other transplant procedures. Saving a life is a personal goal of mine. When I can’t live any longer, I want to help as many people as possible. Will you save someone’s life one day?

Transplant: this word may sound scary, but you can choose to think of it as saving a life. Organs such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart, lungs, and small intestines are transplanted every day. The most important issue in transplants is matching the donor and recipient. Blood type and organ size are the two biggest factors in a transplant, along with the health of both people, according to the website Transplant Living.

When you hear the word donation, what do you think of? Most people picture money, food, or blood. Donating blood can save lives. But just one organ or tissue donor can save the lives of more than 100. ­Tissue donations include bone marrow, tendons, corneas, veins, heart valves, and skin.

Making a blood donation is most common, and when I turn 16, I am going to donate blood. I also plan to donate marrow in case someone close to me or any patient needs it. Please help save a life too.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to make a difference. When I was three, I was run over by a car. The tires went over my head. My parents were terrified, not knowing how things were going to play out. After my accident, my father became a superhero by training to be an EMT. He is also a donor, but as an EMT, he has saved many lives. He is now a nurse in a local emergency room.

Organ, tissue, and other transplants save up to 500,000 people each year. My cousin ­Nikki had leukemia and stomach cancer, and she went though many procedures and transplants before she died at 16. Without those donations and transplants she would not have lived for the five years after her diagnosis – four years more than she had been given by the doctors. Nikki was ­given hope by donations from strangers.

Don’t just sit back and relax – make a difference. Become a donor, be a superhero, save lives.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 13 comments. Post your own now!

living_trying said...
Jan. 16, 2012 at 7:53 pm
This article has touched me deeply. It brought tears to my eyes. My dad was recently saved by two live transplants. You are making a huge difference and I thank you for that.
Healing_Angel said...
Jul. 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm
This is a great idea! I want to donate blood when I'm old enough. Great job.  
Life-without-a-heartbeat said...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 10:50 am
I too have been affected by this my mother is and emt and she has save my life personally and the lives of several others in my town and she is my superhero.
kiwi12 said...
Dec. 29, 2009 at 2:06 pm
Yes. Thank you.
A few people in my family had to go through bone marrow transplants... its scary stuff.
This is definitely considered superhero stuff! Wonderful job.
CaseyLeigh This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 15, 2009 at 11:13 am
Powerful--this piece gave me chills!
miller.emmy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm
I'm glad that this piece took an affect on youu !!
Aisha R. said...
Jul. 22, 2009 at 7:06 am
Speaking for those of us who have received organs I would like to thank you for posting this article.
I appreciate you trying to spread the word and to help others understand the importance of donating their organs.
practicerandomkindness said...
Jun. 16, 2009 at 8:42 pm
I will definately do this when I get my permit.
miller.emmy said...
Jun. 13, 2009 at 5:52 am
I am glad that I can make a difference somehow. It really means alot that my story can reach people and take affect. This article is 100% true, the stories and all. Thank you for the comments and ratings. I hope you all can make a difference someday! (:
swimmergirl said...
Jun. 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm
This is so true. Maybe I will become a super hero for someone.
Pam_2013 said...
Jun. 6, 2009 at 11:45 pm
I'm going to do this when I get my permit.
Kim Kennedy said...
May 6, 2009 at 8:39 pm
Those wishing to sign up to be a donor can find out how to do so in their state by visiting www.donatelife.net and clicking their state on the map.
totalbookworm96 said...
Jun. 16, 2009 at 3:52 pm
This was a really good article. A lot of informative nonfiction can get really boring, but you are able to make it interesting. Good job, you're a great writer!!
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