Organ donation, Medicare for All can save lives

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.


My wife’s son has a story that is almost unbelievable. He developed a huge tumor in his intestines at 30. It became cancer.

When the tumor was removed, he was diagnosed with cancer. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The chemotherapy that cured his cancer destroyed his heart. He was technically dead when he was wheeled in to get his heart transplant eight years later. He had no pulse.

He recovered. Never having been an athlete, he went on to become the first cancer survivor/ heart transplant recipient to ever complete an Ironman triathlon. He completed six more Ironman events. Then, in 2015, he completed the world championship Ironman competition in Kona, Hawaii. He was heavily featured in the NBC coverage of the race.

He was fortunate that the medical insurance he had did not toss him off his coverage, as they certainly would have if they could. Private health insurers are in the business to make a profit. The grand total of the medical bills this young man had would not have made a profit easier. At any opportunity, he would have been dropped.

Imagine his fate if he had not had insurance. Or if his insurance company had found a way out of paying.

Imagine the improvement in military veterans’ health care if they didn’t have to depend on the limited availability for VA health care. No more driving long distances just to see a doctor when there is one down the street.

Medicare for All is the only sure way to prevent people dying so that profit margins can be protected.

My wife’s son now works with the Gift of Life organ donor program and the American Cancer Society through his Recycledman Foundation, www.recycledman.com. Please never forget — sign your donor card.

Dave Hager