Giving the gift of life

On October 8th and 9th the Pere Marquette District Library in Clare hosted Gift of Life Michigan Organ and Tissue Donation.
Local Donor Family Max and Gloria Schindler and Donor Recipient Jim Ogg and his wife Mary Jane were educating the community on the importance of organ donation and signing up new members for the organ donation registry.

Mary Jane Ogg who works as a librarian out of Harrison District Library where the event is normally held, set the event up at the Pere Marquette District Library in order to create more awareness and education. On September 20th marked her husband’s 5th year of life with his new heart.

“It was truly a humbling experience.” she smiled, “September 20th is also my birthday. I couldn’t have asked for a greater gift. It was truly miraculous.”

“I was fortunate enough to receive my new heart in 3 days. Which is normally unheard of, but that should tell you how sick I was.” Jim stated. “I was so thankful (to receive the transplant). It saved my life and changed my life. I now walk over 30 miles a week and live a healthier lifestyle.”

As of September 1st 3,163 people are currently in need of a transplant. Last year 261 of Michigan organ donors were able to transplant 779 organs and tissues to recipients.

In the US More than 110,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant. On average, 18 people die each day waiting for a transplant. Every 10 minutes a new name is added to the national waiting list.

Max and Gloria Schindler lost their daughter 15 year old Sarah Schindler in an automobile accident on May 20th 1990. Choosing for her daughter to become an organ donor, Sarah’s organs have helped save the lives of 3 people and giving them 23 additional years of life which would not have been possible if not for Sarah.

“It was my decision.” Max said. “My wife and my daughter were both in the hospital after the car accident. My wife was unconscious and on a different floor of the hospital. It is what Sarah would have wanted. She talked about going into the medical field. She always wanted to help people.”

Gloria Schindler said, “Sarah is a hero and organ donation has become a big part of our lives. People stop me on the streets just to say thank you.”

She continued, “We did receive letters from Sarah’s recipients. It is encouraged by all people needing transplants to write a letter after receiving their new organs and tissue. It was touching but we did not need the validation. We knew we had done the right thing.”

Anyone can be a donor. The registry bank is available to every resident in Michigan. There is no age limit. Even people who are Even if you think you are not healthy, there is someone out there who needs your donation.

Organ donation is giving life. One day you will die and instead of your organs deteriorating into the ground you could instead give that gift and continue life not just for one person, but for many. One day you or your loved one might need an organ or tissue because of some unforeseen event. Michigan has changed the process of organ donation registry. INow all organ donors have a heart symbol at the bottom right hand side of their license. Anyone now registering to become an organ donor will receive a heart sticker in the mail to put on their license. Residents of Michigan under the age of 18 need to be registered by a parent or guardian.

To become an organ donor or for more information on organ donation you can go online to http://www.giftoflifemichigan.org/become-donor/.

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