Monday, April 27, 2009

So Let's Talk About Organ Donations with Jill Wolfson (A Guest Blog)

What do Phil Lesh (plays bass guitar for the Grateful Dead), former NBA star Sean Elliot, and world-class mountain climber Kelly Preston have in common?

Like Dani, the protagonist of my new novel, Cold Hands, Warm Heart, they are all organ recipients. Phil got a liver, Sean a

I’m here to bring up a tough topic today. It’s not the kind of subject that most people like hearing about. I mean, nobody wants to sit down at the dinner table and say, Hey mom and dad, if I die suddenly, it’s okay to donate my organs.

But this is a subject that we all do need to think and talk about. (Hmmm, maybe wait for dessert to be over before bringing it up). This month (April) is National Donate Life month, a time set aside to celebrate the tremendous generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donors and to encourage more people to follow their brave example.

kidney and Kelly a heart.

To be honest, before I started writing Cold Hands, I didn’t know much about organ donation– other than the little box I checked when renewing my driver’s license.

But research for this novel turned into quite a journey. I wound up interviewing hospitalized teenagers waiting for organs and their nervous, hopeful parents. I hung out at the hospital school and talked to families and kids about their new life after transplant. One evening, I attended a “reunion” of pediatric heart transplant patients. What a sight – all these kids with their puffy faces from steroids running around in one big room, everyone celebrating the miracle that they were alive.

I also spent many hours crying and sometimes even laughing with donor families as they showed me photographs and described their decision to donate the organs of their loved ones.

After talking to all these people, I truly understood the importance of being a donor. If tragedy strikes, I know that I would want a part of me to live on and to give many other people a second chance at life. I hope you’ll read my new book and use it to start talking about this critical decision with your family and friends.

I’ll going to leave you with some numbers to think about:

n Nearly 100,000 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list.

n Every 12 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.

n An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.

And now for a lighter side to the topic of organ donation. Yes, there is a light side! In my novel, Dani, the girl waiting for a new heart, watches an old, classic horror film about a “hand” transplant that goes murderously awry. I remember how the movie freaked me out when I saw it as a kid. Now, it cracks me up. I posted the trailer to Hands of a Stranger on my blog at Check it out.


Thanks for being here Ms.Wolfson!

I learned a lot!

If you haven't checked out her book (COLD HANDS, WARM HEART) do so now

If you still need a push read my review Here

O and the contest winners of a copy and a signed book plate will be posted momentarily



1 comment:

Summer said...

organ donation is awesome. I'll have to check out that book.