Recently, a company in Japan had the world’s cutest idea for promoting organ and tissue donation.
In an effort to spark conversation around this important topic, Second Life Toys is inviting kids to send them their beaten-up stuffed animals. Toys in need of fixing are then matched with a “donor,” and the donated toy’s part is transplanted to the recipient.
You can check out some examples of the reborn creations below, and if you’d like to donate an old toy of your own, you can visit their website.
If these adorable stuffed animals don’t convince you that being an organ donor is for you, check out these 10 facts that address some common misconceptions and concerns people have about signing that organ donation card on the back of their driver’s license:
1. You Can Help 50 People
Did you know that one organ donor can not only save up to nine lives, can positively affect up to fifty others if all organs and tissue are usable?
That basically makes you a superhero.
2. It Doesn’t Damage the Body
If you’re worried about your family gathering around a bizarrely arranged body to stare at your waxy skin in an open casket, don’t be.
Organ donation requires only a single incision to retrieve all internal organs.
Your body will be handled with respect and returned to your family for the appropriate ritual goodbyes.
3. No Restrictions to Donating
Do you enjoy drinking? Are you on the latest diet craze (such as a gluten free, Paleo, vegan, no-wheat, or dairy-is-the-devil plan) or do you load up on McDonald’s breakfast four days a week?
No worries! There are no dietary or alcohol restrictions for donors.
4. Donors Move to the Top
Another fun fact: if you donate live tissue (such as part of your liver or one of your kidneys) and later find yourself in need of what you gave away, you automatically move to the top of the recipient list.
5. If You Opt Out, You Can’t Blame Jesus….
All major religions in the United States support organ, eye, and tissue donation as a final act of love and charity toward your fellow man.
6. Doctors Won’t Let You Die
Despite the conspiracy theories out there, no medical professional would let you die because you checked that little box.
If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, their number one priority is to save your life.
7. Minorities In Need
About 58% of patients awaiting lifesaving transplants are minorities, and success rates increase when organs are matched between people of the same ethnic background.
8. It’s Completely Anonymous
If you or a family member donates an organ, the recipient and their family won’t be able to find out any information about you or contact survivors (unless the donor family expressly permits it).
9. Money Doesn’t Help You
Unlike the majority of shit in America, your financial status, celebrity status, or any other sort of status will not affect your ability to receive a donation. A national computer system and strict standards are in place to ensure ethical and fair distribution of organs.
(Unless you work on Grey’s Anatomy – those people have some kind of hotline to the organ donation system.)
And now, the most important reason…
10. The Waiting List Is VERY Long
There are around 125,000 people currently waiting for lifesaving organ transplants with another person added to the list every 10 minutes. Sadly, 8,000 people die each year – 22 every day – because organs are not donated in time.
This topic is near and dear to my heart, as my sister got sick a year and a half ago at the age of 34. Her illness attacked fast, and by the time she arrived at the specialist hospital, we were told that if she didn’t receive a double lung transplant within 3-4 weeks (she’s never smoked a single cigarette), she would die.
Thankfully, a donor was matched and she’s recovering well. We thank that donor and their family every day (but no, they chose not to be contacted by us).
If you’re going to be dead, anyway, why not sign the card? At least this way, someone else has a shot at surviving the zombie apocalypse…
…and eat Twinkies. Obvs.