These stars want to help others live after they die
Why Derek Ramsay, Angelica Panganiban, Dawn Zulueta, Mikee Cojuangco, Carla Abellana, Nikki Gil, and more celebrities want you to carry an Organ Donor Card.
Give the gift of life with the Organ Donor Card advocacy whose renewed promotion efforts are being spearheaded by Ginggay Joven-Dela Merced, general manager of Visions and Expressions Publicity and Special Events. National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) Director ``Enrique Ona, touted as the Father of the Philippine Kidney Transplant, says that an organ should not be bought but bestowed. "It’s up to the patient if he shows gratuity. Gratuity, not payment," relates de la Merced.
The advocacy is close to de la Merced’s heart because her late father Roland Joven benefited from it during his last year of life. Suffering from five blocked arteries and "zero-functioning kidneys," he requested for a kidney from the Human Organ Preservation Effort (HOPE), the organ policing group of the NKTI, and received one in less than a month, just in time for his birthday on February 7, 2009. He got the organ not because he was a priority case but because he and the brain-dead donor were a match. When he passed away 14 months later, the Joven family asked friends and family to donate to the Organ Donor Card foundation in lieu of flowers.
Now, de la Merced is actively campaigning for everyone to keep an Organ Donor Card in order to give the gift of life so that others may live. To get the card, call the NKTI at 926-8940 or print it yourself. As writer and supporter Jessica Zafra wrote in her blog, "You can’t take [your organs] with you [in death], so give it to someone who needs it. You won’t even feel a thing."
Stars who support the cause now include actors Derek Ramsay, Angelica Panganiban, Gerald Anderson, Carla Abellana, Nikki Gil, Iza Calzado, Aubrey Miles, Dawn Zulueta, Maritoni Fernandez and Mikee Cojuangco; singers Billy Joe Crawford, Karylle and Rachel Alejandro; models Victor Basa, Ornusa Cadness, Divine Lee, Wilma Doesnt, Joanne Zapanta, Bianca Valerio and Christine Bayer; model and DJ Mia Ayesa; race car drivers Matteo Guidicelli and Gaby Dela Merced; and broadcast journalist Karen Davila.
Photos courtesy of Girlie Rodis, Ginggay de la Merced, Allan Tuazon and Noel Pabalate.