Blog / Why have I decided to become a donor? / We have to win the game of life
Why have I decided to become a donor?
We have to win the game of life
Sanda Savić Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications of Hemofarm
We have to win the game of life
Serbia-Croatia 3:37, Serbia-Austria 3:23, Serbia-Hungary 3:17. These are some of the results which have been presented on billboards simulating sports scoreboards all over Serbia these days. Unsigned, billboards drew attention and raised questions about what it was all about. It was clear to everyone that Serbia was losing to many national teams, but everyone was wondering what kind of competition it was. Today, on June 6th, which became the National Donor Day two years ago, we learned the answer. Serbia loses human lives because it is at the tail end of the organ donor list, occupying the last position in Europe. This truth is communicated to us by Hemofarm Foundation, which is determined to contribute to the change of results, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, it launched a new campaign: I am a donor, too. Because I support Serbia. In order to increase the number of donors and transplantations, Hemofarm Foundation gathered a champion team comprising Ivana Španović, Maja Ognjenović, Dejan Savić, Dejan Stanković, Nenad Zimonjić, Zoran Tošić, Dragan Škrbic and Branko Lazić in this campaign.

In 2016, Hemofarm Foundation led the campaign The Most Important Call in Life, which affected the increase in the number of donors and transplantations, and initiated the introduction of the National Donor Day, but Serbia did not seem to understand that fighting for lives of people is a game of life, and getting out of the court, to express myself using the vocabulary of our new campaign, means you have lost. We, whose vision is the health of people, know that, just as athletes know that real success means just going from victory to victory, that there is no giving up. We are proud that our top athletes, who prove they are the champions of humanity also in this way, will participate with us in the organ donation promotion.

We are engaged in a range of activities that contribute to the health of people, as well as to a healthy society. And this is the answer why, unlike others, we are engaged in the organ donation promotion for the second time, the topic that provokes turbulent, even negative feelings. Therefore, we do not have any business benefit from this campaign. Everyone is more inclined to deal with beautiful, popular topics, because they are good for business. However, we believe that every life is more valuable than any risk, and that the defeating results that Serbia has recorded in this area are the reason for an alert, and sign that it is high time to face the truth.

That task is difficult, and Serbia has faced many challenges in this area so far. With insufficient knowledge, many prejudices and fears, the problem was bureaucracy and inadequate regulation of this area. That is why it was important to adopt the Law on Organ Transplantation which is in compliance with the highest global standards and follows the practice of the countries that have achieved the greatest successes in the field of transplantation. Serbia has got such a law, but many people, instead of welcoming the new and better solutions, used this situation to deepen prejudices and cause new groundless fears in people by such vague assessments. Why am I saying this? This law, as we see by the number of those who sign statements indicating that they do not give their consent, does not abolish the possibility of refusing to be a donor. So, such claims were a lie. We need the truth even when courage is required for it. Therefore, although it has never been popular, we openly say in this campaign that Serbia loses in the most important game ever - the struggle for lives of people. It is shown by the scoreboard. Serbia currently has only three donors per million inhabitants, Croatia as many as 37, Austria 23, Slovenia 19, Hungary 17, etc. We are at the tail end in the European donor list, and this is a devastating fact.

Our people always show solidarity and great humanity in the toughest moments. But it seems that we are ‘losing in peace’ in many fields. We're off-and-on. Therefore, we were not surprised by the fact that the achieved results in increasing the number of donors and performed transplantations during our previous The Most Important Call in Life campaign and activities carried out by the Ministry of Health were almost annulled as soon as the campaign was completed. But, the battle for lives of people also through increasing the number of donors is a continuous competition in which there is no giving up. Athletes know it best. When Nole is No. 1, his next season is even more difficult because he defends points. When Ivana Španović wins a medal, she is awaiting for the next competition and a new jump that brings success. We love them all, we are proud of their successes, and we are cheering. But this is the moment in which you cannot cheer for your country and its people while sitting in the armchair. The victory depends on all of us and the results that we will achieve all together.

So, we are cheering for Serbia now by playing for the result.

Serbia must stop losing, by being ready to face the truth and awakening its winning mentality. We know that we can do it when we want. It is a matter of pride, honour, and humanity.
Sanda Savić
Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications of Hemofarm