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April Proclaimed ‘Donate Life Month’ at Board Meeting

by Katie Pyzyk — April 25, 2012 at 11:45 am 1,838 15 Comments

(Updated at 11:50 a.m.) During yesterday’s County Board meeting, Libby Garvey read a proclamation recognizing April as Donate Life Month in Arlington.

It’s an important matter for Garvey, whose husband of 34 years died suddenly from a heart attack in 2008. Some of his tissue was donated, and Garvey says knowing he helped others in need helped her deal with the grief from his passing.

“It went to dozens of surgeries in many states across the nation and helped around 100 people… and it’s very good to know what a difference that makes,” Garvey said.

Garvey also mentioned how the relationship she developed with the Washington Regional Transplant Community helped her family “through a very difficult time.”

She then read the following proclamation on behalf of the board:

“WHEREAS nearly 2,000 people in the Washington, DC metropolitan area are currently waiting for a life saving organ transplant, and thousands more need a tissue transplant this year; and

WHEREAS every day 18 of the more than 112,000 Americans awaiting an organ transplant will die before they receive a second chance at life; and

WHEREAS, the Washington Regional Transplant Community is observing more than 25 years of educating Arlington County citizens about saying yes to donation, thereby giving the gift of live through organ, eye and tissue recovery; and

WHEREAS, Arlington County citizens can make their donation decision by either designating donation on their drivers licenses, or signing up at www.donatelifevirginia.org; and

WHEREAS, during Donate Life Month we honor our county’s eye, organ and tissue donors and their families, whose decision to share the gift of life through America’s donor program serves as a positive example for all our citizens.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mary Hughes Hynes, Chair of the Arlington County Board, Virginia, do hereby proclaim April 2012 as DONATE LIFE MONTH in Arlington County, and urge all citizens to sign up as organ, eye and tissue donors, to inform their family of their decision, and raise awareness of the important need for organ, eye and tissue donation in our community.

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  • Bdgrgl

    It’s great to get the word out about donation, but the most important thing to do is tell your next of kin!

    They make the final decision, and often they are making the decision at a devastating time. But donating can help in the healing process (as mentioned by Board Member Garvey).

    Registries do help, but it’s really important to tell your family of your wishes.

    Thank you ARLNOW and Ms. Pyzyk for spreading the word about organ and tissue donation!

  • Done and Done

    All members of my family are donors – it does give a certain peace of mind to know that even after I’m gone that I still might help someone else, and Bdgrgl said it well – others need to be aware of your wishes or there’s a chance it won’t work out the way you wanted.

    My beef with this is that today is April 25 – there are only 5 days left in the month. Why didn’t they nominate MAY to be the month and had a full 31 days of planning and getting the word out *ahead* of time? Or was this another example of the bureaucratic delays. . .

    • Organ Donation Awareness

      Actually, April is National Donate Life Month. See http://www.organdonor.gov/index.html. Garvey was just elected at the very end of March, so that probably accounts for the lateness of the announcement.

  • stop the mauling!

    Another board member mauled by a chiffon scarf.

    • it’s not just the scarf

      She looks like Gollum in the picture.

      yessss, precioussss donate your fleshhhhhh

      tassssty, scrumptiousssss flesshhhhhh

      must feassst on it, preciousssss

  • lalalaaa

    If Libby and the donor advocates could guarantee my body wouldn’t be used to give life to a violent criminal, then I’d happily donate everything I had once I die. Is that possible? Are there private donor lists I could get on? I understand all life is equal, but before everyone jumps down my throat–if a house were burning and you could only save an infant or the guy in there to kill the infant, which would you save? Anyway, I’d never want to give life to a bad person. Seen too many granted lenience, second chances, etc, only to commit another crime. No thanks.

    • drax

      I’d rather risk giving life to a bad person than letting a good person die.

      • lalalaaa

        Ok, but it’s not like there’s some law that says it has to be a risk–can’t they just say ‘you never will you have to worry that you’re keeping some pedophile alive.” P.S. to others who responded, thanks for the info, I’ll look more into their policies and websites.

  • novasteve

    Not sure why my last comment wasn’t approved. You cannot donate vital organs from a dead person. They must have a beating heart. Whether you consider that to be dead or not, the person is not decomposing, thus it’s much more logical to say they are alive. People need to take that into account, especially for religious reasons. Judaism doesn’t forbid organ donation, but you MUST be dead to do it, and judaism says if you have a beating heart, you are alive, so donating vital organs would be considered suicide in judaism. People need to be informed so they can make the right decision for themselves. They just don’t take a dead body and remove organs.

    • lebele

      Congrats to Libby Garvey, Mary Hynes, and the rest of the Board for this proclamation. Wonderful to take time to emphasize the issue.

      The comment about Judaism is dated. Ceasing of breath or heartbeat were accepted definitions of death for millennia, until about 40 years ago. The Conservative and Reform movements of U.S. Judaism accepted brain death in the late 1960s. Most Orthodox accepted that change in definition by the early 1990s, sometimes with the added check of no heartbeat for 30 seconds after removal of machines. That retains ancient definitions while permitting modern medical “miracles.”

      There are ethical issues and some differences between more traditional and more “reform” groups, such as donating organs for medical research or an organ bank vs. immediate saving of a waiting individual. But acceptance of brain death and ethics of organ donation are now a consensus.

  • Bdgrgl

    lalalaa,
    You should contact UNOS.org. But I highly doubt that your organs would go to a criminal. Most of the donation process is anonymous, and the donor families have to make contact with the recipients to start any communication (usually handled by the hospital’s transplant coordination team). Go to the Donate Life website and read some of the amazing stories. The people in my life who were given a second chance are now newlyweds, mothers, fathers, and so on. They would have never had that second chance at life (one friend is on her third kidney due to a previous rejection and she is a happy newlywed working to promote medical care advocate).

    By the way, every month should be Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness month….

  • Marilynn

    Most medical schools accept bodies, no organs or eyes can be removed. They use them for medical students. I know GW accepts and the Uniformed Services University does also. It is a decision…parts or total body.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8PuUU6IWps&feature=youtube_gdata_player awh hells bells

    Did the county receive a grant to open a sperm bank?

    • Harry Palm

      “Did the county receive a grant to open a sperm bank?”

      Apparently they started collecting at 7-11′s ……

  • Mr. Brown

    I find it interesting that they would support this, but I doubt we will see a “Protect Life” Month that discourages abortion from the Arlington County Board.

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