You Have the Power to Save Lives
April 24, 2018
There are nearly 115,000 men, women and children waiting on the national transplant list, according to Donate Life America. Alarmingly, 22 people die each day waiting for a transplant because the organ they need is not donated in time.
April is Donate Life Month. It is a fantastic time to make sure you are an organ, eye and tissue donor to help save lives. As Maya Angelou once said, “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” Learn about how you can help be a rainbow in a storm by donating life.
Each and every person should register to be a donor. Ninety-five percent of U.S. adults support organ donation but only 54 percent are actually signed up as donors. Every 10 minutes, another person is added to the waiting list while only 3 in 1,000 people die in a way that allows for organ donation. However, just one donor has the power to save eight lives and help many others! One person can save up to eight lives from organ donation, including heart, two lungs, liver, pancreas, two kidneys and intestines; restore sight to two people with their corneas; and heal the lives of 75 people through tissue donation.
All adults in the U.S. – and in some states people under the age of 18 – can indicate their commitment to donation by signing up to be an organ donor. Authorization by a parent or guardian is generally necessary for individuals under 18 who have died to become an actual donor. Don’t rule yourself out from being an organ donor because you have a health condition. You’re always encouraged to register. There are very few conditions that would prevent someone from being a donor – such as HIV infection, active cancer or systemic infection.
There are three ways that you can save more lives this month:
- Register in your state: are you registered to donate life? Take the first step to find out by visiting: https://apps.sd.gov/ps09onlinerenewal/organdonorupdate.aspx. This website will allow South Dakota citizens to verify if they are an organ donor or they can change their status if they are currently unable to donate life. One donor can change the lives of so many. Make the commitment and donate life today!
- Talk to your family and friends: Make your wishes known for friends and family members. This is the best way to ensure your wishes after your passing are met.
- Get the word out on social media: It’s time to raise awareness of the importance of donation. Social media can be a great tool for raising awareness about organ donation and can start the conversation for many individuals.
Maya Angelou was right. It’s time to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud. Following a storm, the presence of a rainbow provides optimism and motivates us to endure through dark times. Similarly, organ, eye and tissue donation is the bridge of comfort and hope between one family’s mourning and another’s healing – turning tragedy into renewed life. You have an opportunity to be rainbows in other people’s clouds through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation!
Sources: organdonor.gov, donatelife.net
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