Traverse City Record-Eagle

Your Views

May 4, 2012

Letters to the Editor: 05/04/2012

All kids are priceless

I would like to comment on the article in the April 29 edition about the Central Lake student who last month was diagnosed with leukemia.

She sounds like an awesome young woman and I wish her a speedy and complete recovery.

As a retired high school special education teacher, I am disappointed to see the use of the word "popular" to describe the student.

My students often talked or wrote about wanting to be popular.

I worked hard to get them to see how absurd that concept is. We often discussed that their parents and grandparents didn't worry about being popular.

The kids would laugh at that thought. In a high school setting kids are often described as "popular" or "good kids" when they are talented in sports, music, academics and most likely from stable homes.

Discipline is even handled differently for these kids compared to troubled, struggling kids.

I firmly believe that all kids want to be treated as priceless.

If we can get away from labels such as "popular" I feel it would be a step in the right direction.

Deborah Beason

Fife Lake

Give donors priority

The generosity of live organ donors is wonderful. It's a shame we need so many live organ donors. Americans bury or cremate 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

There's another good way to put a big dent in the organ shortage — if you don't agree to donate your organs when you die, then you go to the back of the waiting list if you ever need an organ to live.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors.

It will also make the organ allocation system fairer.

About 50 percent of the organs transplanted in the United States go to people who haven't agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

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 www.lifesharers.org or by calling (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.

LifeSharers has over 15,000 members, including 427 members in Michigan.

David J. Undis

Nashville, Tenn.

The writer is director of LifeSharers.

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