After listening to the story about Marc Colvin on ABC Radio National's Life Matters, I have now registered as an organ/tissue doner. My family is supportive of my decision, including my wonderful wife, whos beliefs probably would not let her register herself.
Born virtually blind, I was lucky enough to receive a cornea transplant at the age of 4 and a half (apparently I was the youngest child to have one in 1988). Although logically this meant I probably should have definitely become a doner myself when I was old enough, this story, plus another on the same subject on Radio National's In The Spirit of Things a few months back I think, finally pushed me to register.
Although at the age of 15 a second eye operation went rather wrong causing me to loose all my sight, I am extremely greatful for the 10 years of partial sight the donated cornea was able to give me.
I never got to thank the family of the 19 year old boy whos cornea gave me those years of partial sight, although I believe I did get the chance to contact them in around 1999 or so. It just happened though that this was just after I lost my remaining sight at 15, so I was certainly not in the right space to be thinking about those kinds of things.
Although the donation I received was not needed to fix a life-threatening situation, the gift has most certainly shaped who I am today. I certainly believe that people must be comfortable with the decision to donate, and in no way must it conflict with their cultural or religious beliefs. But, if people are happy to donate, please make sure to register, and let your family know you have done so.
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