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Reader’s Forum 2-14-14

Organ donation saves lives
While most readers know Feb. 14 as Valentine’s Day, this day is also National Donor Day, an observance very close to my heart. National Donor Day is a time to reflect on the incredible gifts of life we can all give to each other, including through organ, eye and tissue donation. Giving life is what it really means to have heart and to care about others, both while you are here and after you are gone.
I know firsthand how organ donation saves lives. In 2005 my stepson, Trey, was tragically killed in a car accident. He had signed up as an organ donor at our DMV office when he got his driver’s license at age 16. His willingness to say “yes” to organ donation saved the lives of six people. I have spoken with several of those recipients by letter and in person. To hear their stories is nothing short of amazing. They all agree that they would not be here today without the transplant. That is why I am a volunteer with Donate Life North Carolina: to raise awareness of this great need.
Right now, over 120,000 people are awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant, with 3,400 of those waiting here in North Carolina. You can bring hope to those who wait and to their families by joining the NC Donor Registry.
Make February the month you say yes to donation. Go to www.donatelifenc.org for more information and to register as an organ donor. You can be someone’s hero, just like Trey.

Toni Keever Whiteside
Lincolnton

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