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National Black History Month – Honoring Heroes Leaving A Legacy Of Life

NATIONAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH – HONORING HEROES LEAVING A LEGACY OF LIFE

(Shown above: Jasmine Rowe)

 

TAMPA, Fla. – (February 1, 2017) - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Medgar Evers.  Booker T. Washington. Mary Mcleod Bethune.  These are names we recognize and people we honor throughout the year, and especially during Black History Month.   Less known are the modern day influencers who leave a lasting legacy through organ and tissue donation, such as Jasmine Rowe.

Jasmine, at 21, was fun and free-spirited. She loved basketball and grew up playing on travel teams that took her around the world.  Jasmine was generous by nature and close with her family.  In fact, it was the influence of Jasmine’s mother, Stacey, who had registered as an organ donor when renewing her driver license, which led Jasmine to proclaim she would like to become an organ donor should the situation occur. Of course, Stacey never imagined carrying out Jasmine’s decision.

A car accident took Jasmine’s life and her family did not hesitate to honor her donation decision. Afterward, in Jasmine’s honor, family members who had not registered did so as a result of Jasmine’s generosity.   Stacy says, “Her life was short-lived, but she enjoyed every second of it.  Jasmine was loved by many.”

Through a single decision, Jasmine Rowe gave life.

Last year, more than 33,000 lives were saved by organ and tissue donation nationwide; in Florida, 692 organ donors resulted in 1,929 lives saved. However, more than 5,000 people continue to await a life-saving heart, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas or intestine transplant statewide; more than 118,000 people are waiting across the United States.

One organ donor can potentially save eight lives, and improve dozens more through tissue donation.

Almost everyone can donate to help others, regardless of age or past medical history. Additionally, all major religions support donation as an act of charity.

Individuals can register as organ and tissue donors at www.DonateLifeFlorida.org, or in person at their local driver license office, while obtaining or renewing a driver license.

LifeLink of Florida is the non-profit, federally designated organ recovery organization responsible for facilitation of organ and tissue donation in west and southwest Florida. For more information about organ and tissue donation, contact LifeLink’s Public Affairs Department at (800) 262-5775 or visit www.LifeLinkFoundation.org.

FACTS ABOUT ORGAN DONATION:

  • Virtually everyone is a candidate for organ donation. Potential donors are evaluated at the time of death.
  • There is no age limit for organ donation.
  • All major religions support organ donation as a personal decision and generous act of kindness.
  • Organ donation places no financial burden on the donor’s family.
  • Emergency response and hospital staff work hard to save the life of every patient. Organ donation is an option ONLY after every lifesaving measure has been exhausted, and the potential donor has passed away. Emergency response and hospital staff do not have access to state donor registries to confirm donation registration.
  • Minorities are in great need of more organ and tissue donors with nearly 69,000 registered on the U.S. organ transplant waiting list.
  • Non-whites are disproportionately affected by illnesses, such as hypertension and diabetes, which can lead to end-stage renal disease and the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Non-whites comprise nearly 58 percent of individuals on the national organ transplant waiting list and 32 percent of living and deceased organ donors, while making up 36 percent of the U.S. population.
  • According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, “successful transplantation often is enhanced by the matching of organs between members of the same ethnic and racial background.
  • For information on living kidney donation, please contact your local organ transplant center. For Tampa Bay area residents, contact Tampa General Hospital at (813) 844-7000 or visit https://www.tgh.org/transplant-center/