If you happen to be passing by a magazine rack in the near future, pick up a copy of the new October issue of Homemakers magazine. This edition includes an article I wrote about “living gifts”: that is, donations of hair, blood, bone marrow and even organs to drastically improve another person’s quality of life – or save their life.
Some donations, like blood and hair, take such relatively little time and effort that it’s probably easy to lose sight of the dramatic difference these gifts can make to someone you’ll never meet. Trust me, these donations are both needed and lifechanging. A spokesperson at a foundation that organizes wigs for chronically ill children told me: “It restores their self-esteem and their confidence… One little girl had just come from radiation treatment and could hardly keep her head up, but she had the best smile.” (Are you blubbering now? ‘Cause I sure am.)
And then there’s inner organs and stem cells. Giving away these parts of your body can’t be an easy decision when it involves taking a regimen of drugs and enduring a series of medical tests. Not to mention the plain fact that, afterwards, you’re now down to only one kidney. Plus, it’s one thing to give body parts to your own child; most parents would willingly rip out every vital organ from their body, without anesthetic, if that’s what their kids needed. But how about donating to a non-relative, or a stranger? For this magazine story I was privileged to speak to Canadians who’d done just that… and felt great about it.
Living gifts are not as daunting as you may think. Keep in mind there are plenty of ways to help without giving up your actual innards. If you want to read more, feel inspired or find out what you can do, grab the October issue of Homemakers while it’s still on sale.