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Ozarks Church Encourages Organ and Tissue Donations

As part of a new mission project, the First Presbyterian Church in Branson wants people to give up a part of themselves.
For a man in his seventies, John Long gets around pretty well, especially considering that the lower part of his heart failed completely nearly 10 years ago.

But after long received a new heart from a donor, he climbs the stairs and even works in the warehouse of a department store.

“I unload trucks, I cut my own grass,” he said. “Everyday you wake up and you say, "Thank you lord!"

Long’s church recently began looking for a new mission project…and long shared his story with Rev. Tom Wilcox.

“We're interested in helping people make choices,” he said, “that will help them contribute to the community.”

Nationwide, there are nearly 120 thousand people waiting on a donation. The federal government even keeps a national list.

Registering online can connect you with a nationwide network and give you more control over what happens to your body.

First responders like Matthew Aumiller with the Taney Co. Ambulance District say more donors can save valuable time when a transplant is necessary.

“We're not donating our soul we're just donating the parts to store that,” he said. “Your body is just a machine that keeps you going. The heart is a pump, the kidneys are a filter. You gotta look at it like that.”

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