Tuesday, November 11, 2003
LifeSharers Preaches “Golden Rule” During
National Donor Sabbath
Organ Donors Network Says Sharing Saves Lives
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – November 11, 2003 – As faith communities
throughout the country prepare to observe National Donor Sabbath on November
14-16, an organ donation network called LifeSharers says the “Golden Rule” is
the key to increasing the number of organ donors and saving lives.
“When it comes to organ donation, we should all treat
others as we want them to treat us. That means anyone who would be willing to
accept an organ transplant if they ever needed one should sign an organ donor
card,” says David J. Undis, Executive Director of LifeSharers.
LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors that
was launched last year to help alleviate the shortage of human organs and tissue
needed for transplant operations. That shortage kills over 6,000 Americans
every year, and gets larger every day. More than half the people who need an
organ transplant in America die before they get one.
LifeSharers members agree to donate their organs and tissue
when they die. They direct their donation first to other members of the
LifeSharers network (unless no member is a suitable match). By giving fellow
members first access to their organs, LifeSharers members reward organ donors
and create an incentive for others to become donors.
“Almost everybody agrees that donating your organs when you
die is the right thing to do, and almost nobody would refuse an organ transplant
if they needed one,” adds Mr. Undis. “But only half of the organs that could be
transplanted are actually donated. Most Americans haven’t gotten around to
signing a donor card and talking to their family about it. We give people a
good reason to take those steps – a better chance to live if you ever need an
organ in the future.”
There has been a shortage of organs ever since the first
transplant operations, and the shortage is getting worse every year. According
to statistics compiled by the United Network for Organ Sharing, over 83,000
Americans are now on a waiting list for an organ transplant, and another name
gets added to the list about every 14 minutes. Somebody on the waiting list
dies about every 90 minutes.
“LifeSharers members will give our organs to anyone who is
willing to do the same for us. We’ll give them to others, too, if no member can
use them. We walk and talk the Golden Rule,” says Mr. Undis.
LifeSharers membership is free and open to all at
http://www.lifesharers.org/. LifeSharers does not discriminate on the basis
of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical handicap, health
status, marital status, or economic status.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL DONOR SABBATH
November 14-16 is the eighth annual National Donor
Sabbath. The event was started by the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services' Division of Transplantation to get churches and faith-based
organizations involved in activities to increase awareness of the critical need
for organs and tissues and the miracle of transplantation. Most religions in
the United States support organ and tissue donation as an honored and
compassionate expression of generosity and love. More information about the
National Donor Sabbath is available at
LifeSharers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit network of organ
donors. Membership in LifeSharers is free and open to all. Since its launch on
May 22, 2002, LifeSharers has attracted 1,668 members in 48 states and the
District of Columbia. The LifeSharers web site is at
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