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What did you want to be when you grew up?

Many of us have registered our intention to be organ and tissue donors and promote the idea of gifting life to others should we meet with the misfortune of an early death in circumstances that find us on life support at our mortal journey's end.

Did you know many of the deceased donors in Australia never actually registered their intention on the DonateLife National Registry?

In Australia, even if you have not registered your intention to donate, if you are one of the unlucky people to die in a hospital and be on life support at the time of your death, your family will most likely be asked to consent to your organs to be donated to save strangers anyway.

If the unlucky person is a child, they will have never registered on the National Registry but their parents will still be asked to give consent.

Take a moment to think about the amount of money spent trying to get people to register their intentions and then realise that the next of kin of most people who die in the right circumstances will be asked to consider organ donation. Is the money being spent in the right way?

When I was young I never imagined I would grow up to be an organ and tissue donation and transplant awareness advocate, but I got a second chance through the selflessness of a grieving family who wanted their loved one's untimely death to give the gift of life to strangers.

No family ever wants to be asked to donate their loved one's organs because it means they have lost someone they love. So the ones that do should be acknowledged for their decision.

We need to show these families (last year there were 701 of them) that they are heroes and their loved ones gave hope and happiness to strangers they may never meet.

We need to honour every deceased donor as a hero.

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