What is the Spirit of the West?
Long before organ and tissue donation and transplantation was medically possible, there existed the idea of the “Spirit of the West.” While this expression has no definitive definition, there is a meaning behind the expression that those who live in the western part of the United States have come to understand and embody. It’s that idea of venturing into unknown territory to open up areas of thought, research or development. That sense of adventure and an understanding that we need to rely on our neighbors to assist us in accomplishing our goals. Take a hike in the foothills, climb onto a ski lift in the mountains, or bike around any of the trails spread throughout Colorado and Wyoming. Along the way, you will find other like-minded individuals who personify the “Spirit of the West” with a friendly smile.
The Spirit of the West Connection to Organ and Tissue Donation
This spirit is not only alive in our outdoor activities, it also thrives within the organ and tissue donation communities throughout Colorado and Wyoming. The generosity of individuals in our communities keep this spirit of the west alive even after their deaths. About 69% of Coloradans and 60% of Wyomingites have designated their decision to be organ, eye and tissue donors after death. These rates are consistently high from year to year and exceed the national rate of about 48%. This proves that the spirit of the west contributes to saving more than 400 lives each year.
Show your Spirit of the West – How you can help
Do you have the spirit of the west? Check your driver license or state ID for the designating symbol. In Colorado, look for a greyscale heart with a ‘Y’ inside. In Wyoming, look for two red hearts in the top right corner. It’s not too late to say Yes to organ, eye and tissue donation by signing up online at Donate Life Colorado or Donate Life Wyoming.