This letter is regarding the article "Emma Greene looks forward to UC Davis following transplants."
Emma Greene was very lucky to get liver and lungs transplants. There are now over 112,000 people on the National Transplant Waiting List, with over 50 percent of these people dying before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate 20,000 transplantable organs every year.
There is another good way to put a big dent in the organ shortage — if you don't agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live.
Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. About 50 percent of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die.
Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has over 14,800 members, including 1,780 members in California.