Fri08292014

Your Health

Putting an orange dot on your driver's license

Even before I met the Los Altos family, Karen and Mark Vasser and their 14-year-old son Adam, who recently received a heart transplant at Stanford Hospital, I had an orange dot on my driver's license.

It just always seemed to me to be a reasonable thing to do. That orange dot signals to emergency personnel that I am willing to donate my organs in the event of my death.

Then I talked with Karen Vasser last September about a story about Adam as he waited for a heart. They weren't ready then for the story. But we both agreed that at some point, we would work to encourage everyone to get that orange dot onto their driver's license.

"Obviously we are big supporters of the concept," Karen and Mark Vasser said. "Just think of the power that we all have within ourselves - we have the power to allow someone a chance to live just by the act of giving. It is the ultimate act of caring about our fellow humans. We hope that people will think seriously about this selfless act and become organ donors.

"Although blood is not an organ, it is, in some ways, even a more useful gift because it can regenerate and become an ongoing gift to those in need. Adam required more than 150 units of blood during his illness. It required blood from hundreds of donations in order for him to survive. Blood is a priceless gift and is always in short supply. Please become a donor.

"The past months have been a long, hard journey for Adam and our family. But thanks to Adam's strength and the support of our friends, we can now look ahead more than one day at a time.

To obtain your orange dot, stop by any DMV office. In most cases, you will be handed an organ donor card with no waiting required.

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