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Honoring Organ and Tissue Donors for National Donate Life Month

Honoring Organ and Tissue Donors for National Donate Life Month

It can be unpleasant to ponder our own mortality, but let’s do so for a moment. None of us wants to hasten the process, but let’s face it — we’re all going to die. However, there is something we can do right now to help others after we’ve gone. We can offer the precious gift of life through organ donation. 

April is National Donate Life Month, set aside to honor those individuals and their families who have elected to donate organ, tissue, and marrow in an effort to save and enhance the lives of others. 

These selfless families have, in their time of great sorrow and loss, looked beyond their own circumstances to ease someone else’s suffering and pain.  

According to the National Institutes of Health, in 2008, more than 14,198 people were organ donors. Thanks to them, and thousands of others before them, more than 200,000 people in the United States are alive today. More than 101,000 people are on the waiting list for an organ transplant. Thousands more need tissue and corneal transplants each year, and about 30,000 people a year are diagnosed with blood diseases that may be cured by a marrow/blood stem cell transplant.

It’s not a complicated process to become a donor. Most states have donor registries or allow you to register through renewal of your driver’s license. Informing family members of your decision will avoid confusion and delay at time of death.

Even if you’ve got a medical condition you can still register to be a donor — medical suitability is determined at the time of death. All expenses related to organ donation are deferred to the recipient, so you will incur no charges by donating.

Now is as good a time as any to consider becoming a donor. And as long as you’re thinking about it, why not make it official? I’m an organ donor. Are you?

For more information on organ donation or National Donate Life Month visit OrganDonor.gov

Locate your State Donor Registry

Order a Free Donor Card

Sources: National Institutes of Health, OrganDonor.gov

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5 comments

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2:23AM PDT on Apr 17, 2009

Like Joan I take some hefty meds, but still have a donor card - at the vert least they can take my eyes!

7:46PM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

I, too, had offered to be an organ donor, but thought my diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue and Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFIDS) 11 years ago made me ineligible. Shall now check. But I'm writing to honor my oldest daughter, who is mid-way through the process of donating a kidney to a dear friend and mentor in late May. She is almost 45, and I am tremendously proud of her, while of course being concerned for her own possible future needs. More donors are certainly needed.

7:43AM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

Thanks for the great post Ann. I do work with Donate Life Illinois and it's great to see others working to call attention to such a crucial issue. The path to action around this issue is so simple...register to be a donor. It takes a moment of your day.

I also thought you might be interested in this video we created to help build national dialogue around the the issue during April - www.youtube.com/donatelifeillinois. We've also put together a National Facebook Photo/Status Update Day taking place tomorrow! http://tinyurl.com/donatelife-updateday

Thanks again!

7:42AM PDT on Apr 16, 2009

Thanks for the great post Ann. I do work with Donate Life Illinois and it's great to see others working to call attention to such a crucial issue. The path to action around this issue is so simple...register to be a donor. It takes a moment of your day.

I also thought you might be interested in this video we created to help build national dialogue around the the issue during April - www.youtube.com/donatelifeillinois. We've also put together a National Facebook Photo/Status Update Day taking place tomorrow! http://tinyurl.com/donatelife-updateday

Thanks again!

10:22AM PDT on Apr 15, 2009

Thank you for the information, Ann. I have been an organ donor, from the day I received my license. Since I have become ill, I thought that it would not be possible to donate because of the medications Im on. Now I can check.
Thanks.

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