I remember clearly the day I got my driver’s license. I think most of us probably do. It was a very important day in our lives, a milestone of sorts. That day not only did I become a licensed driver in the state of Montana, but I also became an organ donor.

It’s pretty easy to become an organ donor. All you have to do is check a little box when you get your driver’s license. You can also just tell the lovely ladies at the DMV that you want to be a donor when you renew your license if you didn’t check that box the first time you got your license.

I remember growing up and my dad’s boss was on a wait list for a kidney for years. It always amazed me that an otherwise healthy person was on the brink of death because just one organ in his body wasn’t working properly. I also found it fascinating that it was possible to take an organ from someone else’s body and put it in another person and they could be cured.

However, I never thought I would know someone who was the recipient of an organ donation, but it turns out I do. In fact I am related to someone, well almost anyway. My husband’s uncle is engaged to a lovely lady who received lungs from a generous organ donor from Spokane.

A wife lost her husband, but in his death, he gave life to another. I know that nothing can heal the hurt of losing a loved one, but I would think there would be some comfort in knowing that their death allowed another family to keep a loved one around for a little longer.

I’m hoping I live a good long life and get to see my kids grow and my grandchildren someday, but if I don’t, it makes my heart glad to know that I will be able to help other family’s enjoy a loved one for years to come. I want to encourage everyone out there to consider organ donation. It could save someone’s life, maybe even your own.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of the University of Montana, animal lover and writer.