Signing up to register as an organ donor can be a very difficult decision. But that difficult decision someone made is a choice that kidney donor recipient David Landsberg says saved his life. Now Landsberg is riding through Mississippi and the entire country to help save others.
From the ease and glide on his bike it's hard to tell that David Landsberg was born with a serious kidney disease.
Landsberg says, "I had both my kidney and my spleen removed surgically and they put me on dialysis to purify my blood."
On July 4th 1999, Landsberg received a second chance at life. He received a kidney transplant from a six year-old boy.
"After my transplant I mean I'm alive and healthy, last year I did what's called the Iron Man Triathlon, the toughest endurance race in the world," says Landsberg.
Landsberg is the president of the "Society for Organ Donor Awareness,"also known as S.O.D.A. Now Landsberg is taking part in different race...it's a race to save lives.
The kidney recipient is riding his bike fifty miles, in every state for fifty days to raise awareness about organ donation recovery.
"I don't only want to give back, but I want to pay it forward and make sure we get donors signed up so that the people in the future get their organ," says Landsberg.
In the sate of Mississippi about 435,000 people are registered to donate their organs. That's just twenty percent of the state. If you're not sure if you are an organ donor, take a look at your license. The little heart on your license can indicate whether or not you're registered to donate your organs.
Even if you don't have the heart on your licence you can register to become an organ donor online
Becky Pierson, works for the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency. Pierson says, "you can also sign up at your DMV just let them know that you want to be an organ donor and they'll put the little heart on your drivers license."
By the end of his bike tour, Landsberg wants to achieve big strides in organ donation registration.
He says, "I want it ultimately to be so common that I can shut down S.O.D.A. because no one needs to promote organ donation."
According to the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, a new name is added to the national transplant list every twelve minutes.
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