Have a heart: Teaching teens about the importance of organ donation

Debbie Snapp
ECB Publishing, Inc.

On Thursday, Jan. 17, Jefferson Somerset held an organ donor presentation for students who are or will be driving age soon, in an effort to teach them about how organ donation can save lives. Public Education Coordinator Kim Gilmore, with LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services, was the guest speaker. She gave a very informative video presentation that featured organ recipients and patients sharing their experiences with the donor program and how just one donor can affect so many people in need. An organ transplant doesn't end with the donor and recipient, it affects the families of both the donor and the recipient. Organ donation is the lifeline for so many people. LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services is a not-for-profit department of Shands HealthCare. Its organ-donor program serves a 36-county region of North Florida. With more than 4,000 patients awaiting life-saving organ transplants at Florida Centers, and more than 100,000 nationwide, its mission is to save lives through organ donation and transplantation, encouraging people to designate their donation decisions. She gave a list of organs that can be donated and explained that there are several reasons why people need transplants, including diabetes, kidneys and obesity. Monetary donations to LifeQuest go to enhance services offered to its donor families, including providing outreach materials, coordinating its memorial-quilt project and hosting its annual celebration of life: The Tribute of Life. Your contribution enables LifeQuest to help its donor families to honor their loved ones' Gifts of Life.