To the editor:
Valentine’s Day is the day we focus on our loved ones and shower them with flowers and candy and affection. February 14 is also National Donor Day, the day when many nonprofit health organizations in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sponsor blood and bone marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups around the country. Organ, tissue and blood donations help those suffering from organ failure, spinal and bone injuries, burns, hearing and vision loss. In the U.S. today, more than 117,000 people of all ages are waiting for their gift of life. Every 10 minutes someone is added to the transplant waiting list. It could happen to any one of us, your sister or son or co-worker or pastor. As you enjoy this Valentine’s Day with your loved ones, think about the thousands of people still on the transplant waiting list and the families who love them. Each one of us has the power to give the gift of life by becoming an organ/tissue/blood donor. Take the time, right now, to educate yourself about the need for donors. Visit www.organdonor.gov for information on living and cadaver donation; how to donate or be a recipient; links to related organizations; and information on government policies and regulations involved in organ and tissue donation and transplantation, one of the most regulated areas of health care today. Then sign-up to be an organ/tissue donor at www.donatelifeflorida.org. You can also sign-up when obtaining or renewing your driver license online or in person at a DMV office. Share the love; with your help we can end the wait.