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Guest editorial: The two-minute hero

"What a wonderful gift to be able to give someone life." -- Adair Countian Trudy Crabb, ColumbiaMagazine, January, 2011.
Won't you take two minutes to become someone's hero? Add your name to the Registry at

By The Telemetric Observer

Would you take two minutes to become someone's hero? Registering to become an organ donor takes just about that long, and the potential outcome is staggering in terms of the number of lives that can be saved or greatly enhanced from your act of generosity. The cost to you, the donor, is nothing more than the time it takes to register.

So why don't more folks sign up? In a recent email conversation, Ms. Shelley Heavrin, the Executive Director of the KY Circuit Clerks' Trust for Life organization, mentioned the common fear that "doctors won't save me if they know I am a donor." She emphasized that "since no ER nurse or doctor can access the confidential Registry information, this fear is an unfounded myth, nothing more than an urban legend."

Ms. Heavrin also stated that sometimes, "people assume they are too old, too sick, or just unable to donate. Some people are told they can't donate blood, so they assume they can't donate organs" as other reasons for not signing up. Those assumptions are false; anyone -- everyone! -- can join the Registry.

Several myths and misconceptions, including those concerning end-of-life health care, are discussed at

Ms. Heavrin farther noted an often overlooked beneficial effect of a locally robust participation rate: "it gives patients in need [of a transplant] actual hope that people in their community would save them." As Adair Countian Mary Keltner wrote on ColumbiaMagazine in 2010 (emphasis added), "every donor name added to the list of organ donors in this state decreases the wait for those in need of a transplant...You never know whose life you might save, and it may be very close to home."

Last year was a banner year for Adair County, with more than 400 residents adding their names to the Registry. In the seven county area, the numbers for 2011 are as follow:
  • Russell Co. - 754
  • Taylor - 497
  • Adair - 406
  • Casey - 390
  • Metcalfe - 363
  • Cumberland - 235
  • Green - 215
In overall participation, however, Adair County lags far behind the six surrounding counties. The percentage of those 18 & older registered and the total number of participants in each county are as follow:
  • Russell Co. - 36.3% - (4,953)
  • Metcalfe - 29.9% - (2,292)
  • Taylor - 26.3% - (5,008)
  • Cumberland - 23.9% - (1,273)
  • Green - 20.9% - (1,821)
  • Casey - 16.7% - (2,040)
  • Adair - 13.3% - (1,925)
Won't you take two minutes to become someone's hero? Add your name to the Registry at

This story was posted on 2012-01-24 06:36:49
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