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Organ Donors

January 23, 1986

My husband is a kidney dialysis patient. He has been waiting for a kidney transplant for more than 16 months. He must go to the hospital three times a week for four-hour treatments on a dialysis machine. He has been on dialysis for 2 1/2 years. He needs this transplant very much because his health continues to decline and he has to be tied so closely to the machine that he doesn't have much time for anything else. There are thousands of others like him, waiting. Some of these are in very serious trouble and approximately 10% of dialysis patients die each year.

There is a new law this year that requires doctors and hospital staff members to talk with families of terminally ill or accident victims, regarding the donation of organs. This is a very good law, and it is so critically needed. But I am asking everyone reading this to take the time to have a serious talk with close family members and loved ones about this. Make your decisions about donating organs while it is not a traumatic thing to talk about.

I can understand why families put this kind of subject off because I did this myself. Only after my husband's illness did our family members get together to discuss donations and we have talked with close friends and neighbors about the need for planning before the emergency.

I hope your readers will do the same as it is very important. There is absolutely no way that my husband can get his needed transplant other than from a donor. Remember that the tragic loss of your loved one could also mean that he, or she, provided life for several others. My husband has a large family and he is a very important and well loved member of it. We will never know the donor of the kidney he will get but will always be grateful for his or her generosity and thoughtfulness.

If, after your decision to donate organs is made, you may obtain donor cards from the Department of Motor Vehicles to put on the back of your driver's license. Please do not put this off, as so many are needing your help.

BONNIE J. SANDERS

Newhall

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