It look's like you don't have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.
When most people think of February 14th, they envision roses and chocolates. But it's also National Donor Day, an event which highlights the need for people to donate their organs and tissue to those who are dying without them. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.
National Donor Day is celebrated annually on Valentine's Day because giving a dying person your organs or tissue is perhaps the greatest gift you can offer.
Shelley Rasley works at the Heartland Lions Eye Bank in Springfield. She tells the gripping story of how her little brother, Greg, was killed in a car accident in 2000.
Before he died, as his father was giving him a haircut one day, Greg suddenly told his dad that if he should die, he wanted to donate his organs or tissue to someone in need. A week later, he was in the fatal car wreck.
Rasley's brother gave a little boy the gift of sight. It was, she says, the one positive thing which came out of something so tragic.
Rasley showed me a what a human cornea looks like after it is taken from the donor body and before it is transplanted.
Breita Church of the Mid American Transplant Services in Springfield, says people on the list for donors are literally dying as they wait.
For those considering giving their organs or tissue when they die, Church recommends several things.
The second thing she recommends is to add your name to the Missouri Donor Registry. The third thing is to sign your driver's license stating you would like to give your organs upon your death. Church said, however, that the final decision rests with your family.
Transplants are not just limited to the major organs: heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas and livers. Many people are also in need of human tissue.
Church said several burn victims from last week's sugar factory fire in Georgia received new skin from tissue donors right here in Missouri.
To learn more about donating your organs or tissue, you can call Mid-America Transplant Services at 886-2500, or visit our website at K-S-M-U dot org.
For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.