Thursday, March 14, 2013

Share Your Spare

World Kidney Day is celebrated on the second Thursday in March each year with a mission of raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health.   Yes, we are born with two kidneys, but we can live with just one.  No kidneys at all?  Well, that's a problem.

Our kidneys are pretty amazing.  Each one is roughly the size of our fist, and they're located deep in the abdomen, beneath our rib cage.  Their main job is to remove excess water and toxins from our blood. Kidneys also help to control our blood pressure, to produce red blood cells and to keep our bones healthy.

Matthew Pietrzyk is a seven-year-old with no kidney. His blood type is O. His mother already donated her kidney to Matthew, but it failed. Matthew's second kidney was removed almost a year ago, so he now has none. He and his family would like you to help them find him a donor. The odds are not in his favor with chances of finding a match at 3 in 10,000.  Still, he hasn't given up and his facebook page with the above picture has been visited by thousands, many of whom have registered for organ donation.  Matthew and his family, who live in the United Kingdom, are doing some remarkable things with that facebook page (which you can go to HERE) and they are certainly helping to raise awareness.

Matthew is not the only person in the world needing an organ.  Here in the United States, nineteen people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant. That is not only heartbreaking, but it is also unnecessary.  That's where we all can help out.  If we are willing to accept an organ or tissue donation, why wouldn't we be willing to donate?  The National Network of Organ Donors is trying to prevent the needless deaths of people who need transplants, but they need donors and they need people to be informed. We're not just talking about kidney donations, but today, with Matthew in mind, I just had to mention that first.

So what can you do?  Be informed.  Get the facts.  Share that information too.  Most importantly, become a donor.  It's easy and it will save lives!  Find out more at

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