I am proud to be a DonateLife Ambassador. I have been a registered organ and tissue donor since the 1980s, and have carried the card in my wallet. I've also made sure my family know what my donation decision is.
When my mother passed away four years ago, at age 84, I consented for all of her organs and tissue to be donated. They were able to use her corneas to give other people the gift of sight. The decision was easy because I believed so strongly in the good that could be achieved through donation and because I knew it was something she wanted.
I think people have the perception that only young, healthy people can be donors, but this is not the case. Even in cases where organs may not be viable, tissue can still be donated.
Talking about organ and tissue donation with your family can be hard, as people find it hard to talk about death, but it is so important. Your family need to know your wishes - because one day they could be asked to confirm your decision at a very sad and difficult time. Knowing their wishes makes your decision that much easier at such a difficult time.
In 2010, 309 Australians generously donated their organs and tissue for transplant - saving or improving the lives of 931 Australians.
Just knowing that when you die, you can help somebody to live is a truly amazing thing.