Haunted houses, ghost tours and creepy costumes are all part of the terror we experience during October. Our bodies actually have a real, physiological response to fear, which, when we know it isn't real, becomes fun. Unfortunately, fear is a very real part of everyday life for the 112,000 moms, dads, spouses, friends and children who are waiting for a life-saving transplant and wondering if it will ever come.
A mother recently blogged about watching the documentary "65 Red Roses" about a woman named Eva who suffered from cystic fibrosis and was waiting for a lung transplant. She described the documentary as heart-breaking in her blog because her two year old daughter has cystic fibrosis. Watching Eva in the movie struggle to breathe was frightening. This is the kind of fear that does not disappear with Halloween at the end of October and it is definitely NOT fun.
Unfortunately, this mother and daughter are not alone. Recently a 12-year-old girl collapsed at school. Medical tests determined that a condition previously thought to be asthma was actually heart disease and the girl needed a heart transplant. Less public, but still every bit as real is the man who sits patiently in a dialysis center for three hours, three mornings every week while his wife goes through dialysis treatment, or the mother of two young boys who watches as her husband becomes weaker each day because he suffers from liver disease. She wonders if he will get the transplant he needs or if she will be left to raise her children on her own. These are just a few examples of the people in Utah who experience real fear every day.
Easier than handing out candy to kids, and costs less, each of us has the power to take some of the fear out of the lives of those waiting for a life saving transplant. We can say "yes" to organ donation. This simple decision won't change your life today, but it ensures that at the time of your death, if you are eligible to donate organs, tissue or corneas, your family will be made aware of your wishes and you could help someone on that waiting list. What an incredible legacy to leave behind. Get the facts about donation, log on to www.yesutah.org.
Public education coordinator
Intermountain Donor Services
Salt Lake City