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Organ Donation: Continuing the Story of Life

Right now, there are 119,000 individuals on the national transplant waiting list, and approximately 20 will die each day as they wait for lifesaving news. For those who receive a second chance at life and for their families, April marks a time of celebration and remembrance. National Donate Life Month is a time to build awareness and encourage individuals to register as organ donors.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, anyone regardless of age, race, medical history, and sexuality can register to be an organ donor.
  • A single organ donor can save eight lives through the donation of a heart, a pair of lungs and kidneys, liver, pancreas, and intestines.
  • Organ recipients and donated organs are matched through a national database, which analyzes factors like geographical location, time spent on the waiting list, blood type, and the potential recipient’s health.
  • The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reports that nearly 2,000 children under the age of 18 are waiting for an organ transplant.
  • There are many personal and touching stories of organ donation told by recipients, living donors, and donor families.

For additional information on organ donation, visit the U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation website. If you’d like to register to become a donor, you can do so by signing up online, or in person at the motor vehicle registry nearest you. The best way to ensure that your wishes are carried out is to register with the national registry and have donor designation noted on your driver’s license or state ID. Be sure to make your wishes known to your family, as well. You and your family members will likely have a variety of questions, and it’s important to educate yourself on the process. There is an extensive testing and evaluation period, so talk to your doctor or health care professional with any questions or concerns, and to see if organ donation is right for you.

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