Leaving A ‘Legacy Of Life’
Wednesday - September 29, 2010
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By Dr. Stephen Kula
Executive Director of Legacy of Life Hawaii (formerly Organ Donor Center of Hawaii)
The critical shortage of organs and tissue for transplant is rapidly becoming a major public health issue.
In recovering organs and tissue for transplant, we extend the lives and health of infants, children, teenagers, mothers, fathers and grandparents - thereby not only keeping Hawaii families whole, but impacting the entire community. We also nurture and comfort those families whose loved ones have passed on, leaving a “legacy of life” for others through donation of organs and tissue.
Launching into this new decade, the winds of change are apparent, and we are repositioning the organization to better serve our unique, multicultural community. After extensive research and reflection, it became apparent that the name Legacy of Life Hawaii (versus Organ Donor Center) better describes our mission and our value to both donors and recipients.
With our new online Legacy of Life Donor Registry in place, it’s now more convenient than ever for Hawaii residents to register online as organ and tissue donors - thereby saving or extending the lives of those on Hawaii’s transplant wait list - many of whom are doomed to greatly compromised lives or untimely death.
There are currently more than 400 men, women and children in the state of Hawaii waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
It’s imperative that we increase the number of registered donors who check “yes” to organ donation on their driver’s license, renewal or state ID application, or who register online - if we are to rescue the approximately 16 people who die annually waiting for organs that never come.
We’ve chosen to include the green awareness ribbon in our new Legacy of Life Hawaii logo as it’s the international symbol of support for organ and tissue donation. Green symbolizes hope for those who are waiting for a second chance at life through transplantation. It’s also a reminder of the men, women and children who’ve died waiting for a lifesaving transplant, and a “thank you” to donors and their families for their great gift - the legacy of life - so that others may live on.
Although we’re in the midst of change - relocating, rebranding and revitalizing our organization - there are important elements that are not changing: our ongoing care, support, compassion and gratitude for those we serve.
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