To the editor:
Your story about biker Tony Kampmann and Organ Donation (July 12) highlighted the tragic shortage of human organs for transplant operations.
There are now over 114,000 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 a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage - give donated organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.
Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. Everyone who is willing to receive should be willing to give.
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 calling1-888-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 15,000 members as of this writing, including 254 members in Minnesota.
David J. Undis
Director of LifeSharers