Since its founding in 1992, Donate Life America’s (DLA) mission has been to raise essential awareness surrounding organ donation with a vision focused on saving lives.
Celebrated annually in April, National Donate Life Month was established to educate and encourage individuals to register as organ, eye, tissue, marrow and blood donors ─ also referred to as living donors. This observance period is also a time to honor heroic donors, donors’ families, recipients, caregivers and the clinical teams within this lifesaving community.
Understanding the Critical Need
In 2021, thanks to the generosity of dedicated supporters, transplant experts performed more than 41,000 organ transplants in the U.S. — a record amount. Plus, DLA saw organ donations from deceased donors set an annual record for the 11th consecutive year. Living donor transplants, which decreased significantly in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, also increased with over 6,500 living donor transplants performed.
Yet, over 100,000 people are now waiting for an organ transplant, while thousands more await cornea and tissue transplants. Another person in dire need is added to these lists every nine minutes. Sadly, transplant waitlists include more than 1,900 children under the age of 18. Additionally, alarming data shows that people of color make up nearly 60 percent of individuals awaiting an organ transplant. That’s why DLA is prioritizing the promotion of greater diversity in organ donation. Collectively, we all can make a difference!
Remarkably, a single organ donor can save up to eight lives; and tissue donors can reach up to 75 individuals. With an average of 17 people dying every day while waiting for their transplant gift, there has never been a greater need to become a donor.
Consider Organ Donation
Becoming a living donor is an option for those who wish to give the gift of life while they are still living a healthy life. Not only do living donations save lives but it also expedites an otherwise uncertain waiting period for those in need of a transplant from a deceased donor.
Choosing to become a donor or to make the decision on a loved one’s behalf can, understandably, generate an array of questions and emotions. DLA has a full support team with branches that extend countrywide to guide those considering organ donation through each step within the donation and receiving process.
Around the U.S., families and organizations are being united through these vital donations. Recipients have a renewed sense of living and are given a second chance at life. For donor families who are coping with grief and the hardships of loss, knowing they are able to honor the legacy of their loved ones as they live on in others offers them a special sense of peace.
“Without the organ donor, there is no story, no hope, no transplant. But when there is an organ donor, life springs from death, sorrow turns to hope and a terrible loss becomes a gift” – United Network for Organ Sharing
Donate Life America will be launching its regional registration process for living donors sometime in 2022 to reach more prospective living donors. To become an organ donor, register at RegisterMe.org.