Donated a kidney to a stranger
I now have more than twenty friends who have donated a kidney to a stranger, and this chain reaction has attracted a lot of media interest. Articles and documentaries have been produced by both the print media and the electronic donate a kidney media in Australia, England, and America, on what we have done, and, apart from a few positive reports in local newspapers, they have all been surprisingly negative.
The reporters each claimed to be wanting to write something nice about organ donations, yet, one by one, they each stabbed us in the back. We, understandably, reacted angrily each time. But now we are beginning to see how their reports are quite a natural reaction, and probably part of a necessary evolution with regard to live organ donations… and especially non-directed live organ donations. We are also seeing how this reaction is not terribly different from what many other undirected organ donors have experienced, from the media, the general public, government bodies, and sometimes even friends and relatives.
If more people knew the facts about the need for donors, we are confident that there would be more people volunteering to donate. But there seems to be a worldwide conspiracy to keep people from hearing the facts. Apart from local papers, which tend to give glowing reports about live donations, the stuff that hits the mass media is generally far more negative than positive.
The general public simply does not know that they can save a life by donating one of their kidneys right now, while they are still alive. They are told that they can save lives by donating blood, and that they can save lives by volunteering to be a bone marrow donor. They are even told that they can save a life by donating a kidney after they die (although it is rare for anyone choosing to do this to actually die in circumstances where their willingness to donate a kidney will be of any use). But the masses have been kept ignorant of the benefits of donating a kidney right now… even though the entire waiting list for kidney transplants could be eliminated if even one person in 3,000 who heard what we have just said would decide to donate.