15 Ways to Talk to Your Family About Organ Donation

We get it. Talking about dying is tough, and many of us do what we can to avoid the subject.

But sharing your wishes to become an organ, tissue and eye donor with your family is important. Really important.

In Nebraska, joining the Donor Registry means you’ve provided first-person consent to become a donor and no additional authorization is needed at the time of your death. But what if your family doesn’t know about your wishes to donate? Will your gift of donation be a comfort to them or cause additional grief during an already trying time?

If you haven't had the chance to register before you've passed, your family will decide whether you donate or not. Are they prepared to make the decision you would want?

Do your loved ones a favor and let them know how you feel. If you don’t know where to begin, try one of these suggestions to get the conversation started:

1. Ask your loved ones if they’re registered.

(The conversation might be easier than you expected.)

2. Dog lovers?

Show this heart-warming video about man’s best friend and his experience with donation.

3. Mention a recent news story involving donation.

(Check out our Facebook page for story ideas.)

4. Talk about someone you know who’s had a transplant or is waiting for one.
5. Share a celebrity connection to donation.

Many famous actors, artists and athletes have been affected by donation.

6. Share a bible verse in support of donation.

Romans 12:1-2 is a great example. Find others here.

7. Pull out your driver’s license and admire your hair style from five years ago.

Then, show them your donor heart.

8. Do you recycle?

Talk about the parallels of recycling and donation.

9. Recall a travel adventure.

Then mention all the places you’ll go when you’re part of someone new.

10. Talk about the best gift you ever received.

Follow it up with your plans to give the gift of life.

11. Share your organ donor status on Facebook.

Yes, there's an official status for registering as an organ donor. See how to do it.

12. Love ink? Tattoo your donor status.

Or maybe just share this recipient’s tattoo in honor of his donor.

13. Quiz them on some of the facts of donation.

“Did you know one organ donor can save eight lives?” “Did you know you can be an organ donor at any age?” (Get more facts.)

14. Talk about favorite charities & other causes close to your heart.
15. Tell a sports story.

Show the video of Jason Ray, the UNC mascot who became or organ donor or Chris Henry, an NFL football player who saved many lives through donation.

Focus on the Positive

No matter how you start the conversation, keep the focus on LIFE. After all, donation is about giving life and hope to others, living on and leaving a legacy of love that any family can be proud of.

Posted: March 10, 2016

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