CLARKSBURG, W. Va. — Around the country, flags with the “Donate Life” logo are going up in honor of National Donate Life Month in April.
“That emblem represents all that have gave or are thinking about giving through organ, cornea and tissue donation,” T.J. Roser, Funeral Director, Coroner Liaison with the Center for Organ Recovery and Education said. “The main purpose of the flag raisings [sic] is just to raise awareness in local towns, local communities, just to provoke those thoughts about donation.”
On Monday, flag raising ceremonies were held at Davis Funeral Home in Clarksburg, and then later at Bartlett Funeral Home in Grafton.
Roser described the current lack of available organs as a “medical crisis” that has an effect on the Mountain State.
“Nationally, there’s over 123,000 individuals on the waiting list. Eighteen people die a day waiting for an organ, two of which will be in our service area which covers western Pennsylvania and basically the entire state of West Virginia.”
At the flag raising ceremony in Clarksburg, three individuals spoke of their experience with donation, one an organ recipient and two family members of organ donors.
Each stressed the importance of making the decision to become a donor, but doing so only after one is informed of what it means.
At the end, Roser challenged everyone in attendance to go share what they learned and talk to their loved ones.
“If you could get out and just touch one person, talk to them about what your wishes are with donation, with organ and tissue donation, and have them start that snowball of basically of what it is,” he said. “A lot of people look at it and say ‘What the heck do I want to talk about that for?’ but it’s very important to be educated on.”