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Flag raising honors organ donation

by Amber McDown

A flag raising ceremony took place at Minden Medical Center on April 10, in recognition of National Donate Life Month. The event, which also honored donors in general, paid special tribute to Minden native Kyle Campbell, who tragically passed away last fall, leaving behind his wife and four children. Kyle’s decision to donate his organs has given the gift of life to others in desperate need.

April is dedicated to celebrating donors and their families for their selfless contributions amidst their own tragedies. It serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of registering to become a donor. Elizabeth Campbell, Kyle’s wife, delivered a heartfelt speech at the ceremony, expressing, “My husband chose to become an organ donor at the age of 15 when he got his driver’s license. I don’t think that many of us process what it means to become an organ donor. The end goal of saving many lives is huge, but that doesn’t mean that pain and darkness don’t come along with that. We were facing the biggest tragedy of our lives. Our tragedy became someone else’s miracle, someone else’s second chance at life. My husband’s legacy will continue on through his kids, myself, our family, and our friends, but also through the countless strangers that he’s helped. Even in his last act, he was looking out for others.”

Organ donation is a vital act that can be done by anyone, regardless of age, pre-existing health conditions, lifestyle, or religion. Currently, more than 100,000 Americans are awaiting life-saving organ transplants, with over 2,000 in Louisiana alone. Tragically, approximately 17 people die every day while waiting for a transplant. In 2023, more than 46,000 organ transplants were performed in the U.S. It is important to note that being a donor does not incur any expenses for the donor or their family, and donation does not disfigure the body.

In addition to organ donation, living donations such as tissue donations, bone marrow donations, and single kidneys can also save lives. Registering to become an international bone marrow donor requires nothing more than a simple cheek swab to assess compatibility with someone in need.

Throughout April, Minden Medical Center is hosting several events to raise awareness about organ donation. For more information on these events, visit https://bit.ly/3JjFKoS. To register as a donor, visit www.lopa.org.

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