Why I decided to become an organ donor

By Brooklynn Schmidgall

Being an organ donor could be tough decision for some, but to me, it never was. The way I look at it, why not? Once I’m dead and gone, my heart, my liver, my eyes, etc. — they’ll all be of no use to me.

I want someone else to have them rather than having my body parts rot in the ground or burnt up during cremation. If I can help, even in death, of course I will.

A new proposed law would allow teens, rather than their parents, to decide what will become of their organs if the worst becomes reality. Honestly, this is a non-issue in my eyes. My view on the topic of organ donation has been the same for as long as I’ve known about it.

When I was 16, I asked at the DMV about having it specified on my license that if I were to be in some sort of tragic accident that as many of my organs as possible were to be dispersed to those in need of new ones. I was told that at 16, I couldn’t make that legal decision and that I should discuss my wishes with my parents who could decide in that scenario.

At 18, I registered online, and now the decision is as legally binding as it can be. There’s always a chance that family members can refuse, but mine never would. I’ve told them all how important it is to me that if something bad happens to me, something good must come out of it.

This is not only for my sake and the organ recipients’, but for my family’s as well. Saving someone else seems to soften the blow of losing a loved one.

About two years ago, my cousin was driving down the road when he lost control of his car. A guardrail went right through the middle of it, and he was killed instantly. I was devastated and didn’t know what to think or do, but knowing that someone else had his heart and was living because of him made it so much better. I was comforted by the fact that somewhere, his heart was still beating.

If it were me, I’d want my loved ones to feel that same comfort. I’d want to help someone else live. This is a decision I made well before 16, and I don’t think letting others do the same as well as lock it down legally is an issue. 

To learn more about organ donation, read the U.S. government information to organ donation and transplantation here