I can't donate blood while I'm alive, but I want to make sure I give life to others by hopefully donating my organs, and give hope to people with ichthyosis by donating my skin to medical research when I pass away.
My friend Camille posted a very moving blog entry which I want to share with you here.
"I'm a couple of days late, but this week is Donate Life Week in Australia.
It's the perfect time to not only join the official Organ Donor register, but to sit down and have a discussion with your family to ensure that they are aware of your wishes.
Just in case you don't know my story, there's a very good reason that I'm so passionate about this issue..... so here's the very short version:
I'm 36 years old and I've had a chronic lung disease since the age of 15. I was then diagnosed with panhypogammablobulinemia about 11 years ago which just added further complications.
At the age of 28, I was told that I would need a lung transplant at some time in the future. That was a huge bombshell and the first time that I really took the time to think about my future (or lack thereof). Well that was eight years ago now, and I've managed to keep plodding on with my own very dodgy barely working lungs, connected to a never-ending supply of oxygen.
I often think about what it would be like to be able to breathe again - to ride a bike, to go for a run, to walk up a hill, to go shopping, to pick up my nephews, even to mop my floors! All those normal things that I can't do.
At this stage, I need to keep my own dodgy lungs for as long as I possibly can. But, I'm hoping that when the time arrives that I can't go on any longer, I'll receive the ultimate gift.
There are over 1700 Australians waiting for an organ transplant at any time, and the wait can be anywhere between 6 months and 4 years.
The Donate Life website is a wonderful resource full of information, including the family discussion page.
Please spare some time this week and have that conversation...."
(From Curlypops' blog, 21 February 2011)