STAR OPINION: Give the gift of life this festive season

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Christmas is just around the corner, and our thoughts are now turning towards what gifts we can get our loved ones.

This is a time for giving, so there is no better time to think about giving the best gift anyone possibly could give – the gift of life.

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‘The greatest gift you can give’ - Call for more organ donors to come forward in South Yorkshire

Sheffield man’s emotional tribute to donor after 13 year wait for kidney transplant

Today we feature the story of Sheffield man Douglas Goss (see pages 8&9) who has finally received a new kidney – after 13 agonising years of waiting.

Fortunately Douglas has received his new kidney before it is too late, but sadly this isn’t the case for many others.

The statistics are shocking. Thousands of people have died in recent years while waiting for a transplant, including hundreds of children.

The waiting list for transplants is huge, and put simply there just aren’t enough registered donors.

Following the recent terror attacks in Paris we saw thousands of Parisians queueing to give blood, and we have seen similar scenes following disasters in this country and abroad.

It is incredible to see people rally round like this at these times of tragedy, but the truth is there are thousands of people who need organs and blood here and now, each and every day.

None of us know what is around the corner, and one day it might be you, I or one of our loved ones who are in desperate need of a donor organ.

In recent weeks The Star has reported on local people who died suddenly, but whose organs have gone on to save the lives of others.

Just last month we brought you the story of tragic Sheffield teenager Skye Thompson whose organs went on to help save the lives of four others.

And the organs of local racing driver Justin Wilson went on to save the lives of a number of other people after he was killed in a crash in America inAugust.

Skye and Justin’s lives were cut tragically short, but thanks to the organ donation scheme they have a long-lasting legacy that will live on in the people they have saved.

People like Douglas Goss who received a new kidney from a young motorcyclist who was killed in a crash.

So, while you are mulling over what to get your mum and dad, or brother or sister, or auntie and uncle this Christmas, consider signing up to be an organ donor – and give someone something that money can’t buy.

To join the NHS Organ Donor Register go to organdonation.nhs.uk or call 0300 1232323.