When I was at Simmons Colleges in Boston -  a student from MIT helped me build the college's first radio station.  I knew his kidneys were failing and that he was waiting for a transplant.  I didn't know how depressed he truly was about the long painful wait.  I was shocked and saddened when I heard that he had committed suicide.  I sometimes wonder what the world is missing because this young man so full of talent, promise and generosity isn't in it.

This is why I am a designated organ donor. You can see it right on my driver's license.  Don't get me wrong.  I would like to die in my sleep peacefully at the age of 107 like my maternal grandmother.  But if the unthinkable happened I am comforted by the thought that by  making my wishes known I could save a life or three.

Lynette Luckers lost her mom to kidney disease and vowed she would raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and dispel myths folks have about it by founding the Marion Luckers Kidney Foundation named after her mother.  There are a lot of misconceptions floating around.  For example -If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, you will receive the same level of care regardless of whether or not you have indicated your wish to be an organ and tissue donor. The doctors treating you are not involved with transplant programs or possible recipients. This fact is both law and ethical medical practice.

The Marion Luckers Kidney Foundation provides support for people living with kidney disease and is hosting a fundraiser on Sunday March 23, 2014 with all proceeds benefiting dialysis patients.  For more information go to http://www.mlkidney.org/ and also be sure to designate yourself as an organ donor the next time you renew your driver's license.

Get a preview of my interview with Lynette which is scheduled to air Sunday (so when she says today - you'll know she talking about  the 23rd :)

Twitter: @loraineballard