I’ll Never Stop Volunteering! Need a body for medical research? Take mine!

Last year I explained that my God-given soul returns to Him, eternally, when I die, in my Blog post, My Life in Three Ice Cubes: …Whenever Death comes, as you can see, the third ice-cube (my corpse) will be a mere puddle, like the cocoon abandoned by the butterfly, or the shell discarded by a cicada.

I’ve heard other survivors declare that “Cancer is the gift that keeps on giving,” because late stage effects extend our suffering. I say organ or whole body donation is the only gift that can keep on giving. If I can’t use my body anymore, why shouldn’t someone else benefit from it?

Could you argue with these statistics from http://www.organdonor.gov at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service?

123,361 people are waiting for an organ
18 people will die each day waiting for an organ
1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives

Watch a five-minute video http://donatelife.net/understanding-donation/ to learn how the National Wait Transplantation works. Because each state has different procedures, just go to http://organdonor.gov/becomingdonor/stateregistries.html and click on your state. Do you think your friends and relatives have taken this step? Ask them.

My cousin had a cerebral aneurysm in a grocery store, en route to a singing engagement in another state. He was clinically dead when the ambulance reached the hospital, but kept alive to harvest the organs. His wife had no hesitation about fulfilling his wishes.

A year after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease at age 64, a friend told his wife: “Let me sign the papers now to donate my brain to the Neurology unit; perhaps it can help someone else.” None of us are ever truly prepared to accept the death of a loved one, but your advance preparations will pave the way for your family to proceed, in spite of their grieving.

Explore your options with these websites:

WHOLE BODY Donation: Science Care www.sciencecare.com   800.417.3747                                                                                    info@sciencecare.com

MedCure www.medcure.org 503.257.9100 or 866.560.2525                                                                         info@medcure.org

Both of these organizations cover all costs, including transportation, death certificates, cremation and returning the cremains to your family.

Query medical schools in your state: Is pre-registration necessary?

International Whole Body Donation: If you die overseas, ask medical schools in that country about donation.

Volunteering is second nature to me: I was a teenage Candy Striper in high school, and later contributed my skills in the Liberian community when we lived in West Africa. I’ve always been active in my church, but what was my ultimate volunteer challenge? I signed over my body to MedCure! It’s an even barter: MedCure pays all costs associated with retrieving my body and using it for medical research; I avoid paying $7K-$10K for a funeral. My cremains are sent to my family, there’s a bump in the educational fund for my grandchildren, and my soul’s returned to Heaven. Isn’t this the best win-win situation?

Other questions you have might be answered in this article, The process of donating a whole body for medical research written by Sara Madsen, Editor in Chief for US Funerals Online. http://www.us-funerals.com/body-donation.html#.VMQNPS7uZ8o [Permission granted.]

ORGAN Donation/Transplantation

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) http://unos.org/is the private, non-profit organization that manages the nation’s organ transplant system under contract with the federal government.

Or check out the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) a professional, non-profit, scientific and educational organization. http://www.aatb.org

Be assured that all of these procedures are legal and ethical. No one will be removing body parts and selling them on the black market—that’s the fodder for urban legends.

Ask yourself, “WHAT IF _________ developed an illness and was put on the transplant list? How would I react? What could I do to help?”

Life’s never easy, sometimes not fair. But, we need to roll with the cards we’re dealt, even when it looks like a lousy hand.

How about you? What are you going to do? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please contact me: elizabeth@yourexitstrategy.org