This month is National Donate Life Month.
People of all ages, and all ethnic backgrounds are needed to help others live. Even those with a chronic illness can donate their organs!
When I first found out about my illness, I thought I may need to have my name removed as a registered donor. But, I can still save lives!
Becoming an organ donor is a very big decision to make. But, it is one of the most loving gifts you can give. Saving the lives of not just one person, but several. Who knows, it could even be one of your family members or friends.
Unlike organs, tissue can be processed and stored for an extended period of time for use in burn cases, ligament repair, bone replacement, etc. (American Association of Tissue Banks, 2010).
Every year, lifesaving and life-enhancing tissue is provided by approximately 30,000 tissue donors.
One tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 50 people.
Organ donors are celebrated every day for:
- Aiding someone else to see again
- Healing a burn victim
- Helping someone save a limb that would have otherwise been amputated
- Replacing a failed kidney
- Replacing a diseased liver
- Repairing a cleft palate
- Reconstruction after a mastectomy
- Replacing a heart valve
- Replacing the lungs of someone who can no longer breathe well with their own
- Giving their heart to someone
Below are the FAQ's and Statistics lifted directly from the Donate Life website. I hope you will take a moment to read through them. Spend some time thinking about this important decision. Talk with your family about your thoughts on the matter, whether you want to be a donor or not. They need to know your wishes, and you need to know theirs.
You may wish to visit Register to be a Donor to sign up today!
Let me know on twitter @HOPEforCOPD or on G+ at @HOPEforCOPD
Donation and Transplantation FAQs
What is National Donate Life Month?Originally a week long observance, it was officially recognized as a month-long event in 2003. The celebration commemorates those who have received or continue to wait for lifesaving transplants as well as the donors who save and heal lives.
Who can be a donor?People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.
Does my religion support organ, eye and tissue donation?Every major religion in the United States supports organ, eye and tissue donation as one of the highest expressions of compassion and generosity.
Is there a cost to be an organ, eye and tissue donor?There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for donation. The donor family pays only for medical expenses before death and costs associated with funeral arrangements.
Does my social and/or financial status play any part in whether or not I will receive an organ if I ever need one?No. When you are on the transplant waiting list for a donor organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, body size, tissue type, blood type and other important medical information.
Why should I register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor?Organ, eye and tissue transplants offer patients a new chance at healthy, productive, and normal lives and return them to their families, friends and communities. To find out how to register as a donor in your state, visit DonateLife.net.
National Donate Life Month April 2015 Donation and Transplantation Statistics*
• More than 24,000 patients began new lives in 2014 thanks to organ transplants (about 65 every day).
• Nearly 124,000 people in the U.S. are currently waiting for an organ transplant. More than 1,000 of them are 10 years old or younger.
• Nearly 58% of patients awaiting lifesaving transplants are minorities.
• On average, 150 people are added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list each day—one every 10 minutes.
• Sadly, on average, 21 people die each day because the organs they need are not donated in time.
• A living donor can save a life by donating a kidney or a portion of their liver, lung, pancreas or intestine.
• More than one third of all deceased donors are age 50 or older; nearly 8% are age 65 or older.
• Each year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1 million tissue transplants performed each year; the surgical need for tissue steadily is rising.
• A single tissue donor can save or heal up to 50 people.
• Nearly 50,000 patients have their sight restored through corneal transplants each year.
• More than 121 million people, approximately 50% of the U.S. adult population, are registered organ, eye and tissue donors.
• To register as a lifesaving and healing donor, visit www.DonateLife.net.
*Statistics from Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network as of January 16, 2015