It Only Takes a Minute to Donate Life!
April is National Donate Life Month. It is celebrated each year to increase understanding of organ donation, encourage organ donor registration and honor those who have given the gift of life through transplantation.
Cameron is celebrating Donate Life Month by promoting and supporting organ, tissue and eye donation at our hospital and within the larger Steuben County community.
How YOU Can Support National Donate Life Month
The easiest way to support organ donation is to register to be an organ, tissue or eye donor. You can sign up at your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch or register on the Donate Life website or when purchasing a hunting or fishing license online. If you choose to become a donor, share the information with your family.
Other than signing up to become a donor, you can also serve as an advocate during April. Amanda Kuczmanski at the Indiana Donor Network has a few simple actions you can take to show your support.
- Fly a Donate Life flag at your business or home. You can request a flag by sending the Indiana branch a message here.
- Swap out your regular outdoor lights for those colored green and blue.
- Hold a green and blue spirit day at your work.
- Take pictures and share them with the #NDLM hashtag and tag Donate Life Indiana.
- Spread the word! You can download the documents here to share your knowledge with others.
Why Become An Organ Donor
Donors have a big impact on the lives of patients and the healthcare field in general.
- Over 1,000 Hoosiers and more than 100,000 people in the United States are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. This is enough people to fill Lucas Oil Stadium almost twice.
- Every nine minutes, a new person is added to the waiting list in the United States.
- 16 people die every day because a donated organ is not available in time.
A single organ donor can save eight lives, one eye donor can help two individuals, and a tissue donor can usually help about 75 people. When you do the math, this means that one donor can affect up to 85 people, who can then experience more years, holidays and special moments with their families and friends.
How Does the Donation Process Work?
According to Kuczmanski, the donation process has three main steps:
- Patients who need a donation are put on a registry called the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which ensures donations are distributed fairly.
- Once a donor is identified, their information is taken and compared to the list to find a match.
- Once matches are identified, patients receive the life-giving gift that many have waited years for.
Cameron and Kuczmanski encourage everyone to sign up to be a donor. Don’t rule yourself out because of age or medical condition –the medical team at the hospital will determine at the time of death if a donation is possible.
If you have questions about Donate Life Month or how to become an organ donor, please visit https://indianadonornetwork.org/.