recycling or donating anyone?

Ok, so how many of you have donated or recycled something that was originally yours?

How about all those salwars and saris going over to your maid’s daughter or aunt
The bicycle that you once rode now handed off to a cousin
Recycled paper to do your bit in protecting the trees and the woods
How about Nike shoes, the old pair of glasses, jeans and shirts that don’t fit you anymore to the RedCross

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, let me ask you this, have you ever recycled a deeper part of you? No, am not talking about thoughts or ideas but something more valuable and physical, tangible.

Like given Blood?

Or registering at your local DMV as an organ donor.

One day we’d al move on anyway, it’s just a matter of time and the how, so what’s the most that you could give away that belongs to you and to truly you. Your organs, the ones that make a difference to someone else while useless to you.

My personal experience with donation you ask?
From my short stint as an optometrist at SN, I’d seen at least 2 opaque corneas a day. If enough people donated their eyes after they passed on, we could make a difference of light and day in that many more people’s lives. I’ve personally fit corrective lenses on corneal transplant patients and the joy in their face and the gratitude they mumble through tears is, simply put -touching.

I remember one sweet kid of 10 years who came in with a disorder that essentially dimmed the opacity of the cornea. As is with visually handicapped people, his hearing was amazing and he’s pick up on everything I spoke [in hushed tones while discussing his case] and flash me back with intelligent questions. I then also remember him coming back for a post-operative fit and as I slid his lens on, he jumped off his seat with joy. He looked at me and said ‘Thank you sister, mein abhi cricket khel sakta hoon, hain na? Mama, mein ab Tendulkar jaisa batting kar sakoonga nain?’ as the mom sobbed into her pallu. I was silently choking back my emotions and trying to remain “professional” as I scribbled off diagnoses onto his chart.

I know that probably sounded like a script off of any Bollywood movie, but ironically art does imitate life.

Since that incident a good decade ago, Ive been regularly donating at our local drives, and my drivers license has a little heart on it. Having medical background, this made absolute sense to me and I couldnt think of a better way to give back on my way out. Up until now I have never felt the need to urge, convince or justify my stance or belief.

Switching tones, the purpose of the post which has been on my draft board for over a week now was to why a compelling piece of news made me want to write on a sensitive and personal topic as this. I wanted to throw my 2 cents on it.

Blood is more universal that we can ever imagine. Thank God for the sameness that connects us all.
Unfortunately, we are also made of our own little genetic matters, in the face of it, it does matter where you are from and who your parents were, and which race you do belong to. Those little markers play truant with decisions on who gets what part of you when you are out there offering it. That alone makes us want to reach out to our own folks – the bond of connection being in the tiny mapping of DNA and deep within that says we are all Indians.

Vinay is a representative of the many who are waiting in hope that they find a match. The statistics are astounding and moving. All it requires to register is a swab. If you get picked, then the procedure is detailed here.

It isn’t as scary as it sounds and if you have ever been nicked or sticked in your arm, leg or bottom, this is just a little more sore than that. I know am registering myself this weekend.

Stop for a minute, think of the benefit of this small gesture, the nobleness and practicality of it, and am sure you’d agree it’s worth the time, distance and the thought.

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11 replies on “recycling or donating anyone?”
  1. says: Deepa

    Hav you ever tried to donate blood but got rejected by the pesonnel there coz you traveled to India last year? That was the last time I tried. I dont blame them, I am sure they know their rules. But I am gonna have to travel. And yes, organ donor Ma’am.

  2. says: Bookworm

    i read this interesting book called Stiff by Mary Roach. It is about how different people use organs and human cadavers. Sounds kinda gross and creepy I know but was well-written and informative. It definitely confirmed my decision to be an organ donor.

  3. says: rads

    Deepa – When the whole purpose of donation is to make someone’s life better, then need to make sure it isn’t tainted by even the teeniest percentage.
    Enjoy your trip. I am so jealous!

    BW – All it needs is a perception to change direction in life.

    Being busy I suppose :-))

  4. says: Ok

    Okies your article has at least encouraged me to donate my blood. I have wanted to do it for quite sometime. But I never got down to doing it. Ill call my hospital and let them know.

  5. says: Joe Kulangara

    “…Stop for a minute, think of the benefit of this small gesture, the nobleness and practicality of it, and am sure you’d agree it’s worth the time, distance and the thought.”

    that is a very sweet prose. I’ve added you.

    i used to be scared of needles. one night, one of my friends had a bike accident and we rushed him to the hsopital. he needed blood. i dint know my blood group. the doctor asked all of us (who dint know) to check. mine matched his. i donated blood.

    i’ve not been afraid of needles ever since and have donated a couple of times thereafter. it feels like you are giving a part of yourself to somebody else.

  6. says: Day Dreamer

    Nice post! People really need to spread the word on organ and blood donations. In Australia, our drivers licence indicates if we want to be an organ donor or not, this would be good for the people who are too lazy to register.

    Once again, excellent post.

  7. says: Usha

    Sometimes we out are just clueless of how we can make a huge difference to someone else’s life with so little effort. I had been meaning to donate my eyes and other organs – will look up the procedure and do it asap.
    Thanks for the reminder and the lovely post.

  8. says: rads

    Joe, DayDreamer, Usha – Thanks very much. All it takes is each of us to make 1 conscious effort to make a visible difference.

  9. says: upsilamba

    blog hopped and landed in here. reading your archives.
    add me into your regular readers list, will ya? 🙂

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