Make a Life-Saving Decision: Become an Organ and Tissue Donor
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February 23, 2017
By Mackenzie Simmons, ATC
National Donor Day was February 14th, and the main purpose is to raise awareness for organ, eye, tissue, marrow, platelet and blood donation. In addition, the day aims to recognize those who have donated organs, have received a donation or are currently waiting for an organ transplant. It is important to know that all people, regardless of age or medical history, are eligible to become a potential donor. It is also essential to encourage all members of the community to become organ donors because transplant success tends to be better when organs are matched between persons of the same ethnic or racial background.
Here are some important statistics about organ donation:
1. There are currently 119,000 people who are awaiting lifesaving organ transplants
2. In the United States, 8,000 deaths occur every year due to organs not being donated in time
3. By becoming a donor, you can:
- Save up to 8 lives if you donate your organs
- Restore eyesight in 2 people if you donate your cornea
- Heal up to 75 people if you donate your tissue
4. 683,000 transplants have occurred since 1988
5. In 2016, 33,600 transplants took place; this is an 8.5% increase from 2015
There are several ways for you to donate. First and foremost, you can register to be a donor, which can be done online or at your local DMV. Another way to support organ donation is to offer financial support to Donate Life America to help save lives in future.
One of the best ways to raise money for Donate Life America is to create a fundraising page, in memory of a loved one or in honor of a life event. Educating others on the importance of organ donation can help bring awareness to the issue; educational resources are available on www.donatelife.net. Lastly, as an individual, you can take steps to avoid the need for an organ transplant or donation. By visiting your doctor once a year, exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet, you are taking steps to reduce the chances of being on the organ donation list.