Today nearly 124,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States; and thousands more are in need of tissue and cornea transplants to restore their mobility and sight. Between 2011-2012, only 28,000 of the 118,000 people on the transplant list received an organ donation – that is less than half of the people that were in need of a donation.

 

April is National Donate Life Month (NDLM), which encourages Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation. Despite the incredible advances in the healthcare industry, the need for organs and tissue is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation. Here are seven reasons why you should become a donor:

 

 

  • One donor can potentially save up to 8 peoples’ lives through transplant of heart, pancreas, two kidneys, two lungs, intestines, and liver (nine lives if there is a liver split)

 

  • One person can dramatically improve the lives of up to 50 people through tissue and cornea transplants

 

  • All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.

 

  • When you are on the waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information, not your financial status or celebrity status.

 

  • There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation, it is a true gift of life.

 

 

Approximately 20 patients will die each day waiting for an organ. More needs to be done to educate people on the benefits of becoming an organ donor and how to become one. This discussion does not have to be morbid. Chris Barry, M.D., transplant surgeon and TEDxFlourCity speaker, suggests that organ donation should be discussed at yearly primary care appointments, when signing a health proxy or a will, or getting married.

 

There are obstacles that prevent our society from realizing its true potential to help others through organ donation and these must be surmounted in order to save the lives of thousands of people. To learn more and sign up to be an organ donor visit donatelife.net