More than 10,000 people in the state are waiting for organ transplants, but, according to Long Live New York, only about 1,000 organs were donated in 2013 (the last year for which statistics are readily available). A single deceased donor can save the lives of up to eight people who are waiting for heart, kidney, lung, pancreas, liver or small intestine transplants. Those who donate tissue can enhance many more lives — by providing corneas for the visually impaired, skin grafts for burn victims and heart valves, ligaments and bones for still others.
MMC Student Chapter volunteer Robert Ashley says he finds the event satisfying. “As a volunteer, it was a great experience to be able to educate people who were unsure about exactly what being an organ donor means.”
Ashley is also a donor. “It makes us, as individuals, feel better about ourselves by knowing we are willing to donate parts of our body to another individual in need,” he says. “Being an organ donor gives us the satisfaction of knowing we are helping save a life or allowing someone who is less fortunate to have a fighting chance.”