Organ donation can be a legacy of the donor’s life and give someone else a second chance at life
Every ten minutes a name is added to the transplant waiting list. And every day, 22 people die waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. April is National Donate Life Month, a time to honor donor families and recipients and a community of supporters.
LifeSource is a nonprofit organization that offers hope and healing for grieving families in communities and new life for transplant recipients.
Donation has been described as an orchestra; it takes many people working in concert to make the process happen in a short period of time.
The donor’s legacy lives on when someone gets a second chance at life.
Emily Larimer’s son Nehemiah died in an accident 6 years ago at 18 years old, just months before he told his dad his decision to check yes on his driver’s license box and be a donor.
Emily Larimer, Clinical Hospital Coordinator with LifeSource Western SD, says, “The ability to do a selfless act like to give in donation is an incredible gift to offer as you leave.”
Emily adds that you should make donation wishes known to your family.
Some of Nehemiah’s organs and tissue were donated. That experience led Emily to her to a role with LifeSource – the vital bridge between donors, their families and potential recipients.
Emily says, “There’s families that I met that, to walk in the room, to be invited into the room is incredible, to walk through grief with them and to see and to share the hope on the other side donation can bring when you meet that person who your child or you spouse or your parents is walking in the life of somebody else.”
The Yamada family is on the other side of the donation equation. Kory’s dad was an Urologist in Rapid City. He was a kidney transplant recipient in 2004, which worked well until the day he passed away in 2018 of other complications.
Kory says the donation made such a profound impact on her dad’s life and beyond.
Kory Yamada, LifeSource Ambassador, says, “There is such a ripple effect in the people that it effects, you know from our family to then friends and the community and I think especially about my dad you know, he was still practicing and taken care of patients after he had his transplant so the effect that that one kidney had on however many people, I don’t know.”
Now inspired to help any way she can, Kory decided to become on ambassador for LifeSource.
Kory says, “I just really felt like it was important to share my story with people and to try to convey what a life changing decision that is. And it’s just such a profound and selfless gift that you can give to complete strangers, it’s just hard to even, you can’t put it into words.”
You don’t have to wait to renew your drivers license to update your decision. You can register online to choose to be an organ donor. Click here for more.