Now’s the time to consider being an organ donor

Last week, we brought you the story of two brothers, Michael and Will Cordoba, Kearny natives, and the incredible sacrifice one made for the other. It was a kidney donation that Will gave to Michael — and it saved his brother from a lifetime of dialysis or perhaps even something worse than that.

There is very little one could do in a lifetime that would be brave, more selfless, than donating an organ — especially while alive — for another human. Yet that is precisely what Will did for his brother. And one year later, Michael is alive … but not just alive, he is well and part of an inspiring duo that we could all learn from.

This all leads to something many people often don’t face. But it’s a reality that at any given moment, for a myriad of reasons, in the blink of an eye, any human being could become in need of a transplant.

In Michael and Will’s case, it was somewhat a miracle that they matched in 98% of the categories necessary for a successful transplant. There is never a guarantee of a familial match. In fact, in the case of the Cordobas, their younger brother was not a match at all instantly because they didn’t share the same blood type.

That’s an instant disqualifier.

And, considering that had Will not been a match, just under a year ago, there’s no telling what might have happened. Perhaps Michael would still be on dialysis. Maybe there would have been a match somewhere in the country — or world — but those chances are quite low.

The waiting time for a transplant of any kind is often low. In fact, the average kidney transplant wait time is five years, according to the American Kidney Fund. In too many cases, lives are lost whilst people wait. And that is an absolute, tragic shame.

When we heard the Cordoba’s inspiring story, it was a reminder that the rest of us could do something to make that wait time less. We can get tested so that others might live, we could elect to be organ donors at death — or, we could do both.

What Will did his brother was nothing short of amazing. So perhaps it’s time for all of us all to consider being like Will. And who knows? Perhaps one day we’ll be like Will. Maybe one day we’ll be lifesavers.

Maybe one day that five-year wait will be substantially shorter. And when that day comes, our hurting world will be a much, much better place, indeed.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.