By Virginia Rice
Don Colburn’s article, Woman Gives A Kidney, Not Knowing Who Will Receive It, was published in the Oregonian on June 16th . It is the captivating story of an anonymous live donor who willingly gives her kidney to save the life of a man she doesn’t know.
The article is divided into five subheads. First, Colburn establishes the subject and then provides a brief history of organ donation. This is followed by a discussion of the donor recipient relationship, the story of how Oregon’s live donor program was established and the need for anonymity. The author provides statistical data about transplants and the problem of demand and supply. The skillful use of subheads to divide this lengthy information filled article into manageable chunks is well conceived. The piece flows well from beginning to end; each subhead blending seamlessly into the next.
The information in the article is accurate, including statistics about transplants done in the State of Oregon. This helps it hit home, as the reality is actually closer than one might think. Personally, I am connected to organ donation as I’ve had my own liver replaced with that of an unknown donor. I also know several kidney transplant recipients, all of whom read the article, who were impressed with its accuracy and how it helps establish a norm when it comes to organ recipients. We’re not talking about alcoholics or cancer patients here, but, rather, normal people, some very young, confronted with abnormal problems. A good example of this is Ginny Baynes, a transplant recipient who created the anonymous living donor program. Her motivation is her own reality, knowing that without the generosity of a caring individual or a caring family, she might not be alive today. “I just didn’t give up,” she says. “I knew what it was like being on dialysis and having to wait for someone to die to get a kidney.”
Overall, the article provides an insightful view into the world of organ transplants. Mr. Coburn argues eloquently as to the crucial need for donors and creates an emotional connection with his audience by means of personal histories. He also provides information directing readers to more information about organ donation, allowing those who may be interested to delve more deeply into this complex issue. The piece brings together everything into a well written entire package.