How to live twice as long as everyone else

Okay, maybe not all of you, but most of you.

These days you can donate everything from your skin to your corneas. You can save up to 7 lives by donating your organs, and up to 50 people by donating your corneas, skin, bone, tendons and heart valves. There isn’t much you CAN’T donate. It turns out that once you’re gone, all the bits and pieces that kept you going all those years can keep going, with or without you!

If you’ve been a couch potato all your life, maybe your heart would finally get the chance to run a marathon, or walk the Great Wall of China! Your lungs could experience what skydiving feels like (your heart might disagree, but would be outnumbered), and your kidneys could experience the freshest water from the top of Kilimanjaro. Your skin could feel snow for the first time and your blood cells could pulse through the vessels of a newborn baby.

Make your pancreas famous

Not only that, but if you sign up today, there is a chance that one of your organs will be used to save the life of a celebrity, or even someone who could change the course of history. Here are some well-known people who received organ donations:

  • Steve Jobs, who received a liver transplant in 2004. If you’re reading this on your Mac or iPhone, let that sink in for a minute
  • Sarah Hyland (Hayley) from Modern Family. received a life-saving kidney from her dad when she was 21.
  • Death-defying motorbike stuntman, Evel Knievel, received a liver transplant in 1999 after he almost died from Hepatitis C. Imagine being that liver!
  • The star of the original Law and Order (who you might also know as the dad on Dirty Dancing) was on the other side of two organ transplants. Orbach had perfect 20/20 vision all his life, and so he requested that his eyes be donated after his death. His corneas saved the eyesight of two different people.
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So how do you sign up for this opportunity of an extended lifetime? Glad you asked. It couldn’t be simpler. Just go to www.odf.org.za. Click on “Register as an organ and tissue donor” (you really can’t miss this, it’s that big green block on the top of the page), type in a few details and you’re done!

If you’re not yet convinced, spend some time on the site reading more about the ins and outs of being an organ donor and how you can save lives, and live on in the body of someone else!