What You Need to Know About National Donate Life Month
Over 107,000 Americans are currently awaiting an organ transplant that can save their life. The unfortunate reality, however, is that many of these individuals won’t ever receive a transplant due to a lack of suitable donors.
National Donate Life Month, which runs through the end of April, is designed to raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation while celebrating the individuals who have saved lives through a donation.
The Importance of Donating Organs and Tissues
The vast majority of Americans recognize the importance of organ and tissue donation. In fact, approximately 90% of U.S. adults support organ donation, but only 60% are registered donors.
By raising awareness and dispelling myths about organ and tissue donation, we can motivate more individuals to become donors and — in doing so — save more lives. Here’s what you need to know to help:
- One deceased donor can save the lives of eight people through organ donation. Organs that can be donated after death include the heart, lungs, pancreas, kidneys, liver and small intestines. In addition to donating organs, a deceased donor can also enhance the lives of up to 75 people through tissue donation.
- A healthy person can make a living donation. Many transplant candidates can receive a kidney or liver transplant from a living donor. Unlike many other organs, a single kidney can perform all necessary functions. Living donors can also contribute a portion of their liver, which will regenerate over time and retain its normal function.
- Anyone can sign up to be a donor, regardless of age and medical condition. There are no restrictions on who can become a donor. Physicians will assess at the time of death whether organs and tissues can be donated.
- Organ failure affects friends and neighbors in your community. According to the Indiana Donor Network, nine Steuben County residents are currently awaiting an organ transplant. By signing up to become a donor, you can contribute to a cause that’s impacting your community.
- Organ donation doesn’t affect the quality of health care a donor receives. In the event of a medical emergency, donors will receive the same quality of care as individuals who aren’t signed up as donors.
- You can support the cause by becoming an advocate for organ and tissue donation. Indiana Donor Network has a volunteer advocate program that educates Hoosiers across the state about the value of organ and tissue donation. Learn more about becoming a volunteer. In addition to becoming a donor, you can support the cause by sharing information about organ and tissue donation with families and friends through word of mouth and social media.
Become a Donor
According to Donate Life Indiana, 77% of eligible Steuben County residents are currently signed up as donors. Through partnerships with local and national organizations, including Donate Life Indiana, Indiana Donor Network and the Indiana Lions Eye Bank, Cameron Memorial Community Hospital is committed to boosting that percentage.
Register to become a donor today.