AVALON — As many as 22 people who are on a wait list for organ transplants die every hour, Avalon City Council member Cinde MacGugan-Cassidy stated while reading a proclamation instating Donate Life Month into Catalina Island’s written history on April 3. The proclamation encourages Avalon residents to become organ donors and help chip away at the statistic Cassidy cited during the April 3 City Council meeting.
Cassidy, in an email correspondence with The Log, stated this event was near and dear to her heart and the issue of organ donations has personally affected her.
“I have known friends whose lives have been prolonged by receiving bone marrow from donors,” Cassidy said. “I have known two major organ recipients whose lives have been saved by transplants. One is a dear, dear friend who just received a heart transplant late last year.”
While some can feel a touch squeamish when it comes to blood, bone marrow or organ donations or cannot participate for religious, health or personal reasons, making the choice to give of oneself in this way could be considered the ultimate altruistic act.
Avalon’s City Council has taken steps to officiate this day and bring public awareness to a subject that impacts Californians and American citizens across the nation alike, with more than 21,000 people in California and about 114,000 nationwide currently awaiting organ donations.
“I feel it is important to raise awareness for the donor opportunities and I do so when opportunities arise,” Cassidy continued. “I myself have been an organ donor since age 18 and hope someday when my time is up, my last efforts will [help] to save the lives of others.”
For those on the island who wish to register as an organ donor, representatives for the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be in Avalon on April 23-25.
“The DMV won’t be here during our next council meeting, so last week’s meeting [April 3] is the only real attention we were able to give at this time,” Cassidy said.
To find out more information about Donate Life Month, visit the official website at donatelife.net.