Friday, February 2, 2007

Serious Moment Post re Organ Donation

Well, with the conversation today, it seems an appropriate time to mention a "donor" plan I have, not to get people to donate money, but to become organ donors. Those who saw my family blog a while ago may remember that I had something on there for a while about using Alcatraz as a platform not to raise money but to get people to go on to a donor list, or to re-up under the current system. As Tasha said, the old registrations need to be re-done.

My father had 2 heart attacks (1 was only 3 years from my current age !!) but a lack of heart donors was the real cause of death. He was #1 on the list for a month but no suitable donor was found. My goal is to get 100 people to sign up or re-up as donors. It seems that if I get 100 (or even 50) people to do this, that may lead to a very real possibility that the effort could actually lead directly to a transplant even if it adds only a year or less to someone's life. My dad never saw his grandkids born or kids get married or me graduate, so every extra month someone can get in life can have great impact on both the donee and his/her survivors.

Walter Payton, the #1 childhood idol of mine, died after spending time on an organ donor list. Walter waited on the donor list for some time and eventually developed cancer before a transplant could be made. Dad and I bonded over many a Bears game and Walter in the 80's, so extremely weird when both die waiting on donors. Walter had a huge steep hill in the burbs that he was legendary for running 100x/day. That hill (depicted for a brief moment approx. 30 seconds into this Walter video) and the difficulty of climbing it was what originally got me thinking about climbing the sandladder again, even though I am older, slower and heavier and less fit than when I climbed it 7 years ago. I figured if you're going to do a race to further a cause related to a guy who climbed hills, it's gotta be a race where you climb hills, right?

So, here's the plan. I am aware that some people may not want to have their names out there as a donor, as this is sensitive info. If you know me personally, send me an email to an email address that you know, or send to one I set up for this campaign,, and let me know that you are signing up or re-upping on a donor list (if you're a slowtwitcher, just send me a PM). I'll take it on faith that it will get done and will add you as a un-named tally mark on a donor count that I will post on the left side of this page. I'll keep all names confidential. If you are in Illinois, sign up here. If not in Illinois, contact your secretary of state's office.

Thanks for considering it, and go Bears.

Breaking Jim Brown's record: