Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Keeping it in the family

The Seabrook Family of Gary, Indiana know a thing or two about organ donation. They believe in it and know the difference it can make in someone's life. John Seabrook has received not only a second chance but also a third chance because of the miracle of organ transplantation. The most interesting part of his story is that for both of his transplants the donor was a family member.

John Seabrook suffers from hypertension which is common in his family. According to an article titled Seabrook Family Knows What Giving's All About on, John was told in his 20s that if he didn't take care of himself, he would have some problems later in life. In 2001, John got to the point that he could not tolerate dialysis anymore. None of his five daughters could donate at the time because they were either pregnant or dealing with their own health issues. So, Jesse Washington, John's son-in-law, stepped up and donated a kidney to him. Jesse's donation gave John nine extra years of quality life. Then, unfortunately, it failed and John needed another kidney transplant in 2010. For this one, his oldest daughter, Janet Seabrook, stepped up and saved her father's life. John says he's never felt better.

The Seabrooks would like to see more done to both educate people and promote organ donation. I completely agree. I think Janet Seabrook, John's daughter and second kidney donor said it best. To increase awareness she said, "You show them a living example. It doesn't have to be a doctor. It can be a layperson or an advocate out there dispelling myths and rumors and showing that when you donate an organ, nobody is taking anything away from you, but you're giving the gift of life." Sounds like her and her family would make the perfect advocates for organ and tissue donation. They get it.

You can make a difference, too. Just visit the Donate Life America website by clicking here to find out more about organ and tissue donation and how you can sign up to be a donor in the state where you live.  

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