Organ Donation This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Every day approximately 55people receive life-saving organ transplants in the UnitedStates. Another ten die waiting for a donated organ. Thedemand for healthy, donated organs is high. Those 55 receivethem from organ donors - people who decide that, if they diesuddenly, their organs should be used to saveothers.

Becoming an organ donor is fairly simple. Justfill out a donor card or mark the spot on the back of yourdriver's license. Making the decision can be difficult.Although 85% of Americas believe in the merit of organdonation, only about one-third of the needed organs areactually donated. There are many misconceptions about organdonations, but the idea that one life could save another canlessen the difficulty of such a decision.

Some fearpeople waiting for organs obtain special privileges, such as"buying" their way to the top of a wait list. This isuntrue.

One doesn't have to die in order to helpanother. Bone marrow donation is becoming more common, whichbenefits those suffering from many cancer-related illnesses.Although a bone marrow donation is a bit more complicated thanorgan donation, it can make just as much difference insomeone's life.

Once a potential bone marrow donor isgiven information on the process and signs a consent form, theperson has a blood sample drawn to identify their bone marrowtype (which is put in a worldwide database). If a match ismade, the potential donor is tested to verify the match. Thevolunteer learns more details about the procedure and thenmakes the final decision whether to donate.

It ispossible to transplant 25 organs and tissues from the humanbody, including skin, tendons and ligaments. Although thedecision to donate organs and tissues may take time and causeminor inconvenience, the help it gives to ill patients ispriceless. It may significantly enhance - or even save - alife.




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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