Whether you’re a living kidney donor (like me) or a registered organ donor with a little heart on your driver’s license (also like me), thank you for giving someone a chance at a healthy life! As you may know, more than 100,000 people in this country are on years-long waiting lists for an organ (most of them in need of a kidney). Registering to be an organ donor is easy and quick: just go to http://organdonor.gov, and then be sure to tell your family of your wishes. National Donate Life Month shines a spotlight on organ donation in the hopes of shortening the long wait for a life-saving organ.
So many people can be saved from just one registered donor with two kidneys, a liver, two lungs, a heart, a pancreas, and intestines–and, since 2014, even hands and faces. However, even if everyone registered, there just aren’t enough deceased-donor organs to go around. Did you know that less than 1% of people die in such a way that their organs can be used (typically in a hospital following an accident), though, fortunately, corneas, tissues, blood stem cells, and bone marrow can still be used? That’s why it’s so important to have as large a pool of potential donors as possible.
It’s also one of the many reasons that live donation is so important. (We’ll talk more about the benefits of live donation in another post.) Every time someone on the list gets a live donor–and can be removed from the wait list–it shortens the wait for the others on the list. Please help save a life by registering to be an organ donor.