“To donate is to give someone the gift of life”
I find it incredibly frustrating hearing some people’s opinions about organ donation, particularly in the black community, because we are literally hurting ourselves.
Last week on @themovehub we ran a poll on Twitter and on our Instagram story asking people whether or not they had registered to be an organ donor, and the results were shocking, upsetting and annoying if I’m 100% honest with you. On Twitter, 46% of respondents said they hadn’t registered to be an organ donor and didn’t plan to – as I saw this figure clime up throughout the day all I wanted to know was why. I wanted a proper explanations as to why black people are so against it.
According to the BBC we are in an ethnic minority donor crisis predominantly due to myths rooted in religious beliefs, lack of awareness and mistrust in medical institutions. So this discussion is critical.
In July 2017, I had a liver transplant.
I was put on the liver transplant waiting list and was given an estimated waiting time of 18 months. The wait was hard, filled with uncertainty and faced with the reality that my condition could deteriorate before I ever received that life changing call, because on average BAME’s will wait a year longer than their white counterparts. Fortunately for me I ended up waiting only 7 months for a matched donor, but unfortunately for many others the story is very different.
What people don’t seem to realise is that as black people we are more likely to need an organ transplant that any other race due to the illnesses such as diabetes, sickle cell and high blood pressure and certain forms of hepatitis, which disproportionately effect us. But despite this fact, there seems to be an air of nonchalance around many surrounding this topic. So often – too often – people do no think about sickness until it happens to them or members of their family. But when it does, we love to complain about the inefficiencies within the NHS, institutional racism, and general inequalities towards people of colour, without self-reflecting and checking ourselves first.
I understand that this specific issue may not be a common experience, hence not many people see it as an urgent request – but now you’ve heard my story and I urge you, no, I implore you to take a few minutes out of your day, night, evening, holiday, whatever, to read some of the stories of other people waiting for a transplant and hopefully this will be enough to convince you to register.
“God is so good that even in death, life can be given”
For those of you of faith (like myself) who contemplate what the will of God is when it comes to this topic, I want to ask you one question – Is God not all powerful? If you truly believe he is, then
Furthermore, no one knows whether we will have physical bodies in the afterlife or whether we will be pure spirit. The way I see it, God has allowed technology to become so advanced that even in death, life can be given.
One donor can save or transform up to 9 lives and many more can be helped through the donation of tissues.