The Power of the Pen
Even as a little kid I kept a notebook to write stories from what I observed around me. Writing down my thoughts or feelings about why my mom told me that I wasn’t allowed to get another ice cream, or why my teacher told me to be quiet in class when I was just helping a classmate with an assignment had a therapeutic effect. High school offered me the opportunity to finally write real articles and experience the power of journalism. I wrote about topics ranging from school sports teams and discrepancies in school policy such as the opening of campus, to issues that were broader in perspective such as the British Petroleum oil spill and how these issues affected us. So, when my uncle passed away after one of his lungs failed and there were no organs available for a transplant, I picked up my pen.
Drafting an article I hoped to submit to OpEd columns, it was apparent that I knew little about organ donations, transplants, or regenerative medicine. Going through medical textbooks and interviewing practicing physicians like Dr. Robyn Blair, I educated myself so that I might inform others before it was too late for their family. I discovered that organ transplantation is becoming more accessible and viable, yet not enough people are opting to donate their organs after death. Knowing the power of viral marketing, I decided to write about the problem on my science blog, Visionary. I launched Visionary2011.wordpress.com to foster increased scientific interest in fields such as biology, chemistry, and medicine. This way, I could get my thoughts across to people all over the world and urge them to request that their organs be donated after they die to people in need of these organs.
I put my journalist skills to work, so that the topic of organ donation sounded interesting and innovative enough to incite action. I began to receive emails and comments from people not only throughout the state, but across the country, asking questions for which I sometimes had to do further research to answer. Readers of all ages seemed alarmed at the situation and interested in helping others after they died. I replied to each and every one of them with more details about how to designate the decision to donate your organs once you receive your driver’s license. I may not have my own license yet, but as long as I can write, I can help others make informed decisions.