Conference office partners with ARORA for organ donation awareness

The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church on Feb. 15 became an ARORA Workplace Partner. Staff members heard stories from Paul Owen (right), whose daughter’s organs saved five lives, and received information on becoming an organ donor from ARORA representatives Stacy Robinson (left) and Audrey Coleman (third from left).
AUM PHOTO BY AMY FORBUS

The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church on Feb. 15 became a Workplace Partner with the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency (ARORA).

At the February staff meeting, the Conference welcomed Stacy Robinson, workplace partnership specialist with ARORA; Audrey Coleman, ARORA’s director of communications; and Paul Owen, a “donor dad” and the children’s minister at Trinity UMC Little Rock, to share information about organ donation and donor registration.

Robinson and Coleman shared statistics and addressed facts and myths about organ donation. For example, approximately 122,000 people are currently on the national waiting list for some kind of organ transplant, and only about one percent of registered donors will qualify to be a match for those waiting.

Owen’s daughter Melissa had registered as an organ donor before her unexpected death from a stroke two years ago, at age 38. He shared the story of how her choice to be an organ donor has saved five lives around the country, including that of a single mother living in Little Rock, whom the Owens have since been able to meet.

In addition to registering as an organ donor when renewing a driver’s license, Arkansans may register to donate organs, tissues and eyes through www.arora.org or www.donatelifearkansas.org. ARORA representatives and donor family members are available to answer questions and to speak at churches, health fairs and workplaces.

The meeting with ARORA concluded with a prayer led by the Rev. Blake Bradford, whose father lived an extra 10 years because he received a heart transplant. Bradford prayed for those waiting for transplants, as well as for those experiencing the tragedies that make organs available.