Wednesday, November 5, 2008

National Donor Sabbath: November 14-16, 2008

National Donor Sabbath: November 14-16, 2008
Donate Life

National Donor Sabbath is observed on the Friday through Sunday that falls two weekends before Thanksgiving. The 3-day observance seeks to include the days of worship of most major religions practiced in the United States.

Donation and transplant professionals join faith communities and focus on the life-affirming gifts that can be passed to others through organ, tissue and blood stem cell donation. Faith leaders participate in services and programs to increase awareness of donation and transplantation and the critical need for donors.

Nearly every religion in the United States officially supports organ and tissue donation or supports the individual choices of its members. Donation is viewed by most religions as an act of compassion and generosity. Temples, churches, mosques, and other places of worship observe the National Donor Sabbath in their own ways.

National Donor Sabbath participation increases each year, but so does the need for donors. More than 28,000 organ transplants were performed in 2007 thanks to the gifts of more than 14,000 donors, yet more than 99,000 people were on the organ transplant waiting list in June 2008.

Each year thousands of Americans also need corneal or other tissue transplants and an average of 3,000 individuals at any given time are searching for an unrelated blood stem cell donor.

Transplantation can save lives, but only if generous individuals and families say yes to donation. One donor may save or improve life for more than 50 recipients. Those who donate organs, tissue, and blood stem cells restore hope and share gifts beyond measure

A professional basketball player donates a kidney to his sister; another receives a kidney from his brother.

A woman receives a liver transplant at age 74 and is riding horseback at a family reunion 9 months later.

A child living life in a blur receives a cataract transplant at age 6 and grows up to “see the tears in my mother's eyes when I graduated from college.”

A 13-year old boy from a small town in Oklahoma comes to Washington, D.C to meet the analyst from the Library of Congress whose marrow donation saved his life.

Faith communities and individuals wishing to plan National Donor Sabbath events should contact their local organ procurement organization or Donate Life America chapter.

Transplantation isn't a rare or experimental procedure anymore, but it is still a miracle every time it happens. Obviously, it is a miracle of new life for those who are dying, but I believe it is also a miracle for those who give. Most of those who donate are doing so in the midst of profound sorrow and pain, and yet, they are still able to think of the needs of others and to give when all they feel is loss.

— Chaplain Joel De Fehr, Director, Pastoral Care, Integris Southwest Medical Center

For more information on National Donor Sabbath Contact: Joy Demas, 301-443-7050
This information taken from here


Toni said...

Thanks for the info. Laura! I'm all for organ and tissue donation!

Kym said...

Such great information. Thank you for sharing. Since knowing your brother and meeting your Mom, this has become an important issue to me too. The best gift...the Gift of Life!

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