This Valentine’s Day, Give Someone Your Heart. Literally and Figuratively!

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Hadley Rosengrant, Writer

Valentine’s day is often overlooked by those of us who aren’t in a relationship. The whole holiday seems pointless and irritating, especially since it is associated with the worst possible assortment of candies in comparison to any of the other holidays (candy hearts taste like nothing but chalk and nobody can change my mind). But this Valentine’s day, even the most jaded and least festive of us all can do something meaningful: register to be an organ donor. Valentine’s day just so happens to be national organ donation day, and according to UAB Medicine News, only 34% of people in Alabama are registered organ donors.

Of a poll of 50 Bob Jones students, 64% claimed to be an organ donor or at least plan to be. Georgia White said, “I am an organ donor because if I die and can save someone else’s life, I will.”

Langley Polk, a senior at Bob Jones and an EMT student, stated, “I’m an organ donor because if I die before I can have an impact on this world, I want to be able to make an impact in someone else’s life, and be able to give them the gift of a second chance.”

Maddy Moe, a senior at Bob Jones, joked, “You’re the last person who needs your organs after you’re dead – if you aren’t using them, why not give them to someone who needs them?” 

In the state of Alabama, anyone registering for a learner’s permit or driver’s license can decide to be an organ donor– all you have to do is check a box! For those of us who have already gotten our licenses, you can register online here or change your preference the next time you renew your license. 

Mrs. Katherine Teare, a nurse practitioner and a teacher for the biomedical and health science academies at Bob Jones, stated, “I think being an organ donor is a wonderful way to show love for an often unknown person. I had a friend who is a type 1 diabetic and she received a kidney from someone who was identified through the national organ donor foundation and it turns out that she knew him from college, when he found out she needed a kidney he decided to donate to her.”

The impact that a single organ donor can have is huge. According to UMPC Heath Beat, one donor can save the lives of up to eight people, and can enhance the lives of up to fifty people through tissue donation, with around 28,000 people receiving a second chance each year because of an organ donor.

This Valentine’s Day, eat some chalk-flavored candy hearts and some mystery-flavored chocolates from a heart-shaped box, and give a stranger the gift of a second chance at life.