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Congressional Medals For Organ Donors

By Kari Browers

Several years ago, a senator and congressman introduced a bill that would give organ donors a congressional bronze medal for their unselfish act. For some reason, however, it did not gain enough support. Perhaps if the need for organ donation hit closer to home, more people would be in favor of a congressional medal for organ donors.

The need for organ donation did hit home for me, personally. I was only 32 years old when both of my kidneys failed. I had less than 10 percent of my kidney’s functioning and the doctors could not perform a biopsy to find out why my kidneys failed.

I was on dialysis for a year and a half. Organ donors are a rare breed and the waiting list for organs is far too long. Unfortunately, thousands of people die on dialysis every day waiting for a kidney. Not to mention, thousands of people die from liver and heart failure daily. Fortunately for me, I did not have to wait on a list. My sister, Donna, was my donor.

Besides live donors, let us not forget those people who have lost loved ones. Instead of thinking of themselves, they have chosen to donate their loved one’s organs to other people (strangers) to give them a second chance at life. Lest we forget the burned victims and the blind who need skin grafts and corneas. I know that if I had all the money in the world and gave it to my sister, it would not be enough to repay her.

A congressional medal would be a way of saying thank you and recognize those heroes who have unselfishly given part of themselves in order to improve and save lives.

I urge you to contact your representatives regarding this matter.