Become An Organ Donor

By Angela Bekiaris

February 14 might be the day of love for most, but it’s also National Donor Day in the US. So instead of just buying roses this Valentine’s Day, why not see how you too can save lives by becoming an organ donor.
Observed each year on February 14, National Donor Day (also known as National Organ Donor Day) is a day to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives that can be saved.
This day focuses on five different types of donations: Organs, tissues, marrow, platelets, and blood. Sources explain that on February 14, many nonprofit health organisations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation.

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How Did It Start?
National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners, with the support of the US Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health organisations.

How To Become A Donor?
Wondering how you can become and organ donor in South Africa? The need for life-saving organ transplants is increasing much quicker than the organs are becoming available, which is why people should know more about organ donation, and in return sign up to donate their own organs one day. If you would like to find out more about organ donation, or become an organ donor, give the Organ Donor Foundation of South Africa (ODF) a call on their toll-free number on 0800 22 66 11 or visit their website at www.odf.org.za
RIP Natalie Cole
Did You Know?
• You don’t have to donate all your organs — you can state which organs you are willing to donate by clearly indicating it on the donor card given to you.
• You are eligible to become a donor if you are in good health and don’t suffer from any chronic illnesses.
• It won’t cost you a cent.
• The Organ Donor Foundation’s aim is to educate the public about organ and tissue donation, and to engender a greater willingness amongst members of the public to donate their organs and tissue. Visit their website for more.

Organ Donation In Hollywood
The following celebs have received organ transplants:
1. Selena Gomez received a kidney transplant due to her ongoing battle with Lupus.
2. Steve Jobs was diagnosed with respiratory cancer which saw him get a liver transplant in 2009.
3. Tracy Morgan was diagnosed with diabetes in 1996 — he received a kidney transplant from his ex-girlfriend Tanisha Hall in 2010 as a result of kidney complications due to alcohol abuse and diabetes.
4. Natalie Cole was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, as well as kidney failure which led to her kidney transplant in May 2009. Natalie died in 2015 due to heart failure.
5. Sarah Hyland was diagnosed with kidney dysplasia as a child — the Modern Family star received a kidney from her father in 2012.
6. George Lopez has a genetic disorder that led to his kidney disease — he underwent a kidney transplant in 2005. His wife Ann Serrano was the donor although they are now divorced.

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