Monday, July 12, 2010

Juliana Hearts

Hey folks, I thought I'd posted this a while back, but seem to have forgotten to mention it here.

Last year, a friend from my knitting group, Juliana, died following a long wait for a heart transplant. We wanted to do something to remember her, and came up with this plan -- to knit a collection of little stuffed hearts and give them away as gifts to people. There are really two reasons for this:
First, I'm certain that Juliana wouldn't want people to be sad because of her, regardless of the circumstances. I think it's really a fitting tribute to her to give these gifts away, (hopefully) to bring some happiness to as many people as possible.
Second, we hope that by doing this we can raise awareness of organ donation. I really hadn't thought about organ donation until Juliana became ill, I'd always just put it off. So I really want to encourage people to think about it, to make a definite decision. I'd also encourage people (donors or not) to read the stories on the Legacy of Life website, they do a great job of showing the positive side of organ donation.

So, that's the project.
I've made quite a few of these hearts now, and they're mostly pictured here. I've also written up the pattern for the hearts, which is available as a free Ravelry download, in case anyone would like to make some for themselves.

If I can give you a heart, let me know! As I say, the aim is to give them as widely as possible, so this is really open to everyone. You don't have to be an organ donor, and you don't have to be not-an-organ-donor either, it's all about spreading the happiness.
I also have a bunch of the books from Legacy of Life, which have some really amazing stories and I would totally recommend, so if I can give you one of those let me know too.
And of course, do think about whether you would want to be an organ donor. Then tell people! Preferably your next of kin!

*Also*, how amazing is it that organ transplants are possible? Go Science!



ooper67 said...

What a great idea!

Dave said...

Over half of the 108,000 Americans on the national transplant waiting list will die before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year. Over 9,000 of our neighbors suffer and die needlessly every year as a result.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage -- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

Jhadur said...

Hi Dave. I'm afraid I can't really agree with the 'LifeSharers' model. Still, I can see what you're trying to do with it, and I certainly appreciate the motivation behind it, so I'll leave this up in case other people are interested.