In honor of Donate Life month (a yearly celebration of organ donors and recipients), I thought I'd offer a few suggestions for helping someone else lead a healthy life in Rhode Island, including how to donate organs and tissue.
But first, some facts:
- Nearly 124,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in this country.
- 21 of them die every day waiting for that organ (via the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services).
- Living donors can give a kidney, or parts of their liver, lungs, pancreas, or intestine.
You can register to be an organ donor with Donate Life New England right here.
Other ways to help promote someone else's health
- Give blood. The Rhode Island Blood Center offers this online tool for searching for upcoming blood drives near you.
- Get vaccinated. You're not only protecting yourself but your family and community. That's partly because there are some people who can't get vaccinated for health reasons, including newborns. But don't take it from me, take it from these URI pharmacy students who made a slew of public service videos explaining why vaccines work.
- Listen. If you know someone who might be depressed or in crisis, don't mind your own business. Lend an ear. Talk. Help them find or get to help. More from the National Institute for Mental Health.
- Participate in a scientific research study. Human trials contribute to medical understanding, and could help a patient down the road...maybe you, maybe a family member, maybe a total stranger. You can look for trials in your area, searching on location and the kinds of conditions/treatments being researched at clinicaltrials.gov. Many trials need minorities, in particular.
There are plenty of other actions you can take to help someone else lead a healthier life. List your own!