Learn how to be an organ donor

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published October 2, 2018

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TROY — Learn what it takes to be an organ donor when the Troy Public Library presents the Michigan Libraries for Life organ donation program. 

The event will be held at the Troy Public Library 7-8 p.m. Oct. 9. 

Since 2010, libraries across Michigan have participated in the campaign to educate patrons about organ, tissue and eye donation, and to encourage them to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. 

“The Troy library participated every year in a low-key way,” said Adult Services Reference Librarian Natasha Rogers. “I wanted to kick it up a notch.” 

Rogers explained that people don’t have to be a U.S. citizen or a Michigan resident to register. “You can register to donate in multiple places.” 

Rosemary Mirski, a librarian at the Royal Oak Public Library, will speak about organ donation at the event. 

“It’s life changing,” she said. 

In 2014, she received a donation of a kidney from a 37-year-old Ohio woman who was deceased. The woman’s other kidney went to a man Mirski met in the hospital. 

Mirski, 60, was in renal failure and was administering peritoneal dialysis to herself through a hose she inserted into her abdomen every night for 10 hours for about two years. 

Doctors could not say what caused her kidney disease. 

“Mine came to light in 1994 after my son was born. They said it was slow growing and there was no cure,” she said. 

She was on lists to receive a kidney at the University of Michigan’s University Hospital and the University of Toledo Medical Center. “They allow you to be on more than one list,” Mirski said. 

Mirski, who lives in Canton, said she got the call to come into the University of Toledo Medical Center and see if she was a match when the woman died. 

“My hope is that people learn the basics and possibly be a donor.” 

Mirski said that her siblings were unable to donate due to health issues, and she was unwilling to let her children be donors. 

She said she was called into University Hospital one time before she received her kidney, but a person ahead of her on the list was a match. “They call three people at a time,” she said. 

Mirski explained that the Michigan Secretary of State website, michigan.gov/sos, has a section for organ donation. People can also add their name to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry when they renew or replace their driver’s license online or at a Secretary of State branch office. 

“I’d love to see people who are suffering get a new chance at life,” Mirski said. 

Call (248) 524-3534 or visit troypl.org/calendar to register for the organ donation program. 

The Troy Public Library is located at 510 W. Big Beaver Road.