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Argentina: “I'm an Organ Donor and I Tell the World”

The news that renowned Argentinian singer Sandra Mihanovich [es] was donating a kidney to her goddaughter Sonsoles Rey Obligado, daughter of her girlfriend Maria Paz Novarro, surprised Argentinians and raised awareness about the importance of saving lives. Sandra's example has also revived online campaigns seeking to raise awareness about organ donation.

Argentina's law prevents organ donation between living persons who are not direct family members, so Sandra had to go to court for approval. Sandra's website [es] describes the moment when the Judge asks her why she wants to donate her kidney:

“Dar amor”, así Sandra definía por estos días frente al juez, cuando éste le preguntó sobre el por qué de su decisión de donarle un riñón a su ahijada de bautismo Sonsoles. No hay mucho que decir frente a estos actos, frente a estas expresiones de amor tan concretas. Pero este hecho grandioso, emotivo y generoso nos da la enorme posibilidad de aprender, de educarnos, de conocer, de saber, de perder miedos. Es nuestra oportunidad de conocer más sobre el tema donación de órganos e informarnos al respecto.

“To give love” that's how Sandra defined her decision before the judge, when asked about the reason for donating a kidney to her goddaughter Sonsoles. There isn't much to say against these concrete expressions of love. But this great, emotional and generous act gives us enormous opportunities to learn, to get educated, to lose fear. It is our opportunity to learn more and get informed about organ donation.

On its website, INCUCAI, the government body that regulates, coordinates and supervises organ, tissue, and cell donation and transplants in Argentina, publishes daily statistics about patients on a waiting list for organs. The following is a real time report [es] at the time this post was being translated:

Statistics at 9:49 am

7153 waiting list patients
910 Implants 2012
398 real donors 2012
9.6 Donors PMH 2012

In his blog [es], journalist Alfredo Leuco [es] dedicates a post to Sandra Mihanovich and suggests that everyone share the news about her donation: 

Los periodistas, los docentes, los religiosos, los políticos, los artistas, los deportistas y todos los que tenemos un micrófono, una tribuna o un púlpito desde donde difundir informaciones y pensamientos tenemos la responsabilidad social, la obligación moral de incitar a la esperanza, de fomentar la donación, de multiplicar la solidaridad de hacer una propaganda constante de los valores que nos hermanen mas y nos hagan mejores personas y mejores argentinos. No hay otra.

Journalists, teachers, religious leaders, politicians, artists, athletes and all who have a microphone, a podium or a pulpit from which to share information and thoughts have a social responsibility, a moral obligation to encourage hope, to encourage donation, to multiply solidarity, to constantly advertise values that bring us closer together and make us better people and better Argentinians. There is no other way.

On May 30, following the National Day of Organ and Tissue Donation, the INCUCAI launched an online campaign [es] using the hashtag  #SoyDonante [es] (“I'm a donor”) on Twitter. Also a video on YouTube was launched with the motto “I'm a donor and I tell the world”:

Furthermore, the INCUCAI website [es] announced that Argentina will host the next World Transplant Games which will be held in 2015.

Tras superar las postulaciones de países competidores como Japón y Alemania, la candidatura de nuestro país fue avalada por la World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) en su reunión desarrollada en Durban, Sudáfrica, lo que constituye un fuerte aval a la política argentina de procuración y trasplante de órganos, ya que Argentina será el primer país de Latinoamérica en el que se realizará esta actividad.

After winning the bid against competing countries like Japan and Germany, our country's candidacy was endorsed by the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF) at its meeting in Durban, South Africa. This constitutes a strong endorsement of Argentina's policy on organ transplantation, since Argentina is the first Latin American country to host this activity.

A complete report [es] on Sandra's experience was published on the singer's website. It includes videos, like one with her song “Honrar la vida” (“Honoring Life”). The report concludes:

Sandra esta vez no cantó, sino que, con su ejemplo vivo nos habló de DAR AMOR y de HONRAR LA VIDA con mayúsculas y a viva voz.

This time Sandra didn't sing, but rather, with her living example she spoke about GIVING LOVE and HONORING LIFE with capital letters and a loud voice.

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