April is National Donate a Life Month, an event set in place in 2003 by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations. This month is meant to encourage people to register as organ, tissue, and eye donors and to celebrate and acknowledge those who have saved lives through the gift of donation. One donor can save up to eight lives with their organs and save or improve up to fifty lives with tissue and eye donations.
Over 120,000 people are on the organ waiting list right now and every ten minutes someone new is added to that number. Eighteen people die each year while waiting for an organ transplant. This is an overwhelming amount of deaths that could be avoided by more people becoming donors. Over one million tissue transplants are performed each year and each of them have helped to improve a recipient’s life.
Organ donation recipients have great chances of survival after the procedure. For kidney recipients it’s about 69.3%, for heart recipients it’s about 74.9%, for lung recipients it’s about 54.4%, and for liver recipients it’s about 73.8%. These are great odds for the most part and any chance for the people on the transplant list is a dream come true.
Even if you are an organ, eye, or tissue donor, if you get admitted to the hospital you will get the same quality-of-care as anyone else. Registering as a donor could give someone else a second chance at the life they should have and it is one of the most selfless acts that you can commit. Each time someone adds themselves to the donor registry, the hope of the people on the waiting list. Adding yourself to the registry will not make a difference to you, but it could be the change that one person needs.