You can save someone’s life. New York is faced with a troubling statistic: the state ranks last in the country in percentage of residents registered as organ donors. With just 25% of New Yorkers enrolled on the registry, the state is well below the national average of 50%. This contributes to a troubling fact: every 18 hours a New Yorker dies waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
IT WAS ABOUT TWO MONTHS BEFORE MY WEDDING. I WAS LYING AWAKE IN BED. ANOTHER RESTLESS NIGHT. I TRIED TO DISTRACT MYSELF WITH THOUGHTS OF OUR UPCOMING NUPTIALS: IMAGES OF MYSELF WALKING DOWN THE AISLE TOWARD MY FIANCÉ, OUR IDYLLIC HONEYMOON IN HAWAII, THE LIFE AHEAD WE HAD ENVISIONED FOR OURSELVES, HAPPILY MARRIED, WITH CHILDREN.
Suddenly, someone shuffled the sheet around my feet, and the friendly, familiar face of one of my favorite hospital residents peered behind my curtain, “Shari, we have a liver for you.”
Having been down this road two times before, I was hesitant to get too excited. But he assured me this time was “the one” and they were going to prep me in the next hour for the grueling transplant surgery.
The 22 days preceding this one had been unthinkably harrowing for me and those around me. What was meant to be the most joyous time of my life turned out to be the most traumatic: one day, I had been on an amazing career trajectory and planning for my wedding. The next, my family was told I needed an emergency liver transplant within a week or I would die. Quickly, my body shut down and I lost almost all physical and psychological functioning. The nurses bathed me while feeding and oxygen tubes helped sustain me.
SHARI SCHNALL IS A VOLUNTEER WITH LIVEONNY.ORG. TO REGISTER TO BECOME A DONOR OR A VOLUNTEER VISIT THE LINK HERE
To help move New York out of last place, LiveOnNY is launching the first-ever Organ Donor Enrollment Day. This inaugural event is being executed with one goal in mind: enroll as many willing New Yorkers as possible as organ donors in a single day.
Studies show that 9 out of 10 of New Yorkers support organ donation, but only 25% are registered. Organ Donor Enrollment Day presents New Yorkers with the opportunity to rally together and save lives. One organ donor can save up to eight lives. Find out how you can be a part of this life-saving day at www.EnrollmentDay.org.
LiveOnNY, formerly New York Organ Donor Network, is the nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) for the greater New York Metropolitan area. Established in 1978, LiveOnNY is the second largest OPO in the United States, serving a culturally and ethnically diverse population of 13 million residents in New York City, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley. Working closely with transplant centers and hospitals, we coordinate organ, eye, and tissue donation for transplant in the New York region, educate the public and health care professionals about donation and transplantation, and promote the importance of signing up on the New York State Donate Life Registry. We work closely with 9 transplant centers, 98 hospitals, and several tissue and eye banks.
LiveOnNY is accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and a member of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which oversees the organ transplant waiting list in the U.S.
Become an Organ Donor: More information from LiveOnNY
Did you know?
- One organ donor can save up to eight lives.
- New York is 50th out of 50 states with regard to the percentage of residents
registered as organ donors.
- Research shows 9 out of 10 New Yorkers support organ donation, but only 25
percent are registered.
- There are over 120,000 people on the national waiting list and over 10,000 of
those are right here in New York.
- Due in part to the long waiting list and low registration, every 18 hours a New
Yorker dies waiting for an organ.
Debunking the Myths:
- Doctors WILL do everything in their power to save you. Organ donation only
occurs after a patient is declared dead/deceased by a physician not affiliated with
- It is NOT against your religion. Most major religions actively support organ
donation including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Taoism, and more.
For more information about Organ Donor Enrollment Day, visit www.EnrollmentDay.org