The gift of life is something to honor every day, however April marks a particularly special time to celebrate the gifts provided by organ, eye and tissue donation. Donate Life Month is a national initiative focused on thanking those who make donation possible, celebrating a second chance at life for transplant recipients, and bringing the donation community together to raise awareness about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation.
Currently, there are more than 123,000 people on the transplant waiting list in the United States. Nearly 3,000 of those in need of a life-saving transplant reside in our service area of Alaska, Montana, North Idaho, and Washington state. The need is great, but so is the hope that comes from each and every donation. Donation provides hope for both the transplant recipients who are given a second chance through donation, and for the donor families who know that their loved one left behind a lasting legacy; families like those of Rachel Givens of Tacoma, WA who have found solace in the fact that their daughter Rachel saved five lives through donation; Donna Mullin of Billings, MT, who has experienced both sides of the gift of life as a donor mom and a kidney recipient; or heart recipient Oscar Sainz who received his life-saving transplant while fighting congestive heart failure and living with the assistance of a mechanical heart device.
Whether you have a direct connection to donation or not, National Donate Life Month provides a great opportunity to get involved and spread the word about the beneficial impact of organ, eye and tissue donation. Visit our Understanding Donation webpage to learn more about the donation process, what organs and tissue can be donated, and read frequently asked questions about how donation works. We also have downloadable materials available if you are interested in advocating for donation in your community, and educational resources designed for teachers and students to bring donation into the classroom. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive interesting donation facts, statistics, and events happening in our area during Donate Life Month and throughout the entire year.
Every day 21 people die waiting on the transplant list, but that number doesn’t have to be so high. A simple conversation can make a big difference; talk to your loved ones about donation and register today!