What are the Odds?

I am baffled… Here are some statistics and facts Ive been coming across tonight:

According to Donate LIfe there are:

112,657 Patients Waiting for organ transplants

Yet Only 21,354 Organ Transplants were Performed in 2011

..Let me get this straight, here are over 50 thousand people following Donate Life on Facebook and they are currently celebrating their 100 millionth organ donor registration…. I wonder what would happen if half of that 100 million people willing to donate organs and tissue after they die would be willing to do the same before they die…that’s 50 million people!! Do the math… as of January 2012 there was almost 113 thousand patients waiting for transplants… that’s NO where near 50 million!!! Add in the odds of finding the match’s and pairing up the donors Im sure it would even itself out, but the bigger issue being the number of  tired, sick people waiting for YEARS for a new organ could potentially be reduced to ZERO! Okay okay maybe not everyone who is willing to put a sticker on their Drivers License is willing to go the extra mile and become a living donor… but take the list of Facebook followers… that number alone would be MORE than enough, granted some of the people on Facebook are probably recipients, family and friends as well as donors or potential donors…but still, numbers are numbers.

You really never know how much of an impact you can make and its worth the try. Going into our transplant in 2008 I remember thinking, “okay well, let’s send in a blood sample and just see if it happens to be a match, then we will go from there.”  I really didn’t think the results would come back so successful. Let me give you some facts I found this evening on HLA matching and paired non-living donations…

One website mentioned a lot about related living donations and the odds of their antigen matches: Siblings have a 25% chance of being an “exact match” for a living donor and a 50% chance of being a “half-match.”  They also mentioned that a “perfect match kidney donation could provide up to 35 years of life” this is compared to the typical 7-10years that is typically projected as a donated kidney lifespan.  Depending on the match, the “graft” may last longer, for example the earlier mentioned amazing 35 years!! -www.columbiakidneytransplant.org

“The chance of a perfect or six-antigen match between two unrelated people is about one in 100,000.” UC DAVIS Meical Center

Our family is in agreement, we feel this statistic from UC Davis is much lower than we would have expected, however… on this end of a successful non-related living kidney donation with a totally unexpected Perfect six out of six antigen match… I will not complain.  I am rejoycing in the fact that his graft can potentially last him the rest of his life!  Knowing that however unexpected they are, the odds of our match being SO detailed and perfect have allowed for him to be on less medicine, feel healthier quicker, maybe even feel better than he would with a 50% match kidney…and essentially LIVE LONGER.  Who could ask for any more than that?!!

And really… what was my cost?? 8 weeks of my life where I wasn’t allowed to life the weight of a milk carton?  A few days in the hospital, a handful of relatively painless days submitting blood for lab work, and maybe a tiny little collection of scars that have since faded away. I wonder if there is a reason God gave us two kidneys when we only truly need one… kind of like how God gives us gifts and abilities that are meant to be shared with others..   

Maybe, just maybe God gave us the ability to donate our organs for a reason.  Look into it. Just imagine how amazing it could be to find out you are a perfect match, or even a partial match to someone in the world, someone that needs something you can give. Take a chance, save a life.

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