Sunday, February 27, 2011

Organ Donation - you really do it for you than for others!

Do we really understand the importance of organ donation? Do we realize how big a step it maybe towards humankind and that it is something we do more of ourselves than for anyone else...?
Sameer Dua, Founder & Chief Catalyst at Gift Your Organ, thinks we don't as yet! 
The below piece is a "Direct dil se" note by him, where he is  trying to understand  the gaps are in our mind and what is than emotional quotient that will get us to pledge our organs.
A few days back, I sent a message to some of my contacts stating that Gift Your Organ Foundation was now set up and that our social media pages were also up. Soon after, I received a call from a friend of mine, who said that while speaking to one of his friends, he was asked that 'if a person donates an organ, can he get preference if and when he needs an organ?'. I was a little taken aback and responded back saying that 'your really don't donate your organs - you only are pledging your organs and most organ donation really happens only in the event of a brain death, this is as far as all the organs are concerned - eyes and certain other tissues,etc can be donated in case of other causes of death as well).  

That conversation has remained with me over the last 4-5 days and I am wondering, do people donate only for something in return? Clearly, this person understands that there is a huge need and a shortage of organs and hence he wants a preference in receiving organs. Inspite of that, there is concern in pledging his own organs, unless he gets back something in return (??). 

What will it take for people to wake up to understand that their organs are taken only when they don't need them. Whether then the organs are burnt, buried or donated - it will not matter to that person! However, while you are living, at least you can derive satisfaction that you have pledged your organs, and you will remain useful, inspite, and after, your death. 
Just look at the parents of the 11-year old, who donated their son's organs after they lost him to road accident. That one noble gesture by them has probably given new life to 4 other humans...and this is their way of making their child invaluable. Read the news piece here. I bow down to these parents.
Remember, your alive organs will also die in the event of brain death if not donated in time! Some people seemingly would much rather let that happen, than donate their organs! Also remember, chances are that you may need an organ at some point of time in your life and at that point, you will pray for someone to donate theirs to you. 
Direct Dil,
Sameer Dua
Founder & Chief Catalyst
Gift Your Organ

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Art of 'Living'

The most fantastic thing about a noble cause is that it always touches all the right strings.. this is what we are experiencing here at Gift Your Organ.... I recently requested a young girl if she could write a poem for us... just a small request with me having no real idea on what I was actually looking for... but this young girl, Kanika Tibrewala, has put together verses that so beautifully capture the emotions of hope and wait.

Here's a heart-felt 'Thank You' to Kanika.

The Art of Living
I didn’t see through my blind eyes,
The meaning of unreal beauty…
I didn’t believe through my ailing heart,
The pain of true love…
I didn’t feel on my softly burnt skin,
The tenderness of an infants touch,
Nor did I understand the captivity of a diseased lung…

But now I opt, I choose, I
Dream with open eyes
Hope with the healing heart
Feel with the sensitive skin
And with a breathe of joy, I look to a new beginning

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Life after death.. The mystery behind this!

Gift your organ.. hmm.. wonder how I never thought about this until 3 weeks ago!
Thank god for Tina who actually brought up this topic with me.. she started to talk about the whole initiative of organ donation and how for a change we can use our country’s huge population towards making a difference to mankind…… and while she was talking about the cause, there were these flurry of thoughts running in my mind… “Would I pledge my organs?”…”Of course I would”, “Why wouldn’t I?”, “What would I do with them anyways!”, “And… won’t hurt, will be a painless affair!!” (P.S: I have an absolute phobia towards injections…hence the last thought!)
I know not all of us can take a decision on such an important matter this easily… and that’s why we have formed the “Gift Your Organ Foundation” – a platform to educate, inform, make aware, sensitize, help accept and finally pledge your organs. An initiative that is going to work towards teaching you how to continue to celebrate life even after you are gone!
You must have heard of “Life after death” and always wondered what that could be – Well it’s exactly this! Allowing your organs to function in someone else’s body and gifting life to that individual IS Life after death…. Yeah I know… sounds logical now that you see it this way….good!
Ok, so would you pledge your organs to gift life to an absolute stranger?
Did you just say “Yes”, then you can stop reading this and move on to writing to meJ about your views on this and your consent to pledge your organs. Thank you!
Oh, you aren’t sure… ok.. let me start guessing what your reason could be… and yes I am really controlling myself from replacing “reason” with “excuse”…. Yes, Sameer, I know.. I should have said “excuse” J
Anyways, so here’s me listing out the few reasons I can think of…if you have more…write to me… would love to see how creative you can get and if my responses are any match to your reasons.
BTW, I am not listing any religious or medical reasons as yet…
Reason 1: I’ve had a very active life…all kinds of food, drinks…crazy sleeping habits…I’m not sure my organs are healthy or good enough to be donated.
Really? Did your doctor say that to you? Or maybe you have a friend who is a medical expert and he mentioned this to you? No…. then don’t worry, just pledge your organs… only when doctors complete certain rounds of tests will they actually transplant them.. so leave this for them to worry about..ok!
Reason 2: After I’m gone it’s anyways going to be very hard for my family to run their basic expenses, I don’t want to burden them with this additional cost.
Valid point with a very simple answer – your family will have to bear no cost for this process, so relax.
Reason 3: Its already going to be so traumatic for my family to see me dead and to perform all of the rituals.. if I donate my organs, my body is going to look even worse and make it even harder for them.
Organ donation is such a noble and selfless act that it will give this warm, positive aura around your body that everyone will be able to sense, including your family. Infact if your organs were to be donated, your family is going to have a very positive topic that they can talk to people coming in to pay their respects… it’s going to make them look at your death from a very different point of view. As far as your body looking good…. Well…. We believe that the doctors try and do the best they can so as to not ruin your body… and you even care about how your body’s going to look after you die!
Reason 4: This whole thing sounds really painful!
Haha! You are so me!!
Remember – you are dead! Even though your organs are functioning, your brain has stopped working and is never going to support your body anymore, never-ever.
Reason 5: I am still young, I would probably pledge my organs, but a little later in my life…not as yet.
Ok, so here is Fact No. 1 – If you pledge your organs, they will be donated only after you are dead, not before! So it really doesn’t matter whether you are young or very young!
Reason 6: This is a great initiative and I’m sure a lot of people will come forward to pledge their organs, guess me one person not pledging isn’t really going to be that big a deal!
Did you know that one clinically brain dead person can save upto 50 lives! So yes that one number makes a difference…. and remember you are doing this for you and for the person whose life you are going to save.. what does it matter if there are many more doing this!
Wow! I think I’m done with my first round of reasons and reasoning.
Seriously people, get practical, get sensitive, look around you at people who are waiting for an organ, be selfless and pledge your organs. And you know what, you don’t want to pledge..fine..don’t… but will you atleast help spread the message so others can know about it and do something about it? Yeah? Good!
Celebrate Life at Gift Your Organ!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To Remember Me - I will live forever

The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital; busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.  
When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my deathbed. 
Let it be called the bed of life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.  

Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman.  
Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.
Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.
Give my kidneys to the one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.
Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.
Explore every corner of my brain.
Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain against her window.
Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.
If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weakness and all prejudice against my fellow man.
Give my sins to the devil.
Give my soul to God.
If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. 
If you do all I have asked, I will live forever.  
Robert N. Test