I am writing in regard to the article, "Heart transplant bonds two families," published in the Nov. 24 Payson Roundup.
Ralph Perry was very lucky to get a heart transplant. Over half of the 94,000 Americans on the national waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 6,000 of their neighbors die every year as a result.
There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.
Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't prepared to share the gift of life should go to the back of the transplant waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.
Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers.
LifeSharers is a nonprofit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. They do this through a form of directed donation that is legal in all 50 states and under federal law.
Anyone can join for free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling (888) ORGAN88. LifeSharers has 6,479 members, including 179 members in Arizona. Over 600 of our members are minor children enrolled by their parents.
David J. Undis, Executive director, LifeSharers, Nashville, Tenn.