We know April showers bring May flowers, but did you know it also brings National Donate Life Month? Established in 2003 by Donate Life America, this annual event honors the gift of organ donations and encourages Americans to save lives by registering as organ, eye, and tissue donors. If you aren’t registered, here’s why and how to get involved this year.
Why is Organ Donation Important?
There are more than 100,000 people in the United States currently waiting for an organ transplant, and only 39,000 transplants were performed in 2020. It is estimated that nearly 20 people die every day due to a lack of organ donors, even though one person can donate up to eight lifesaving organs.
Many people think of major organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys when it comes to organ donation, but there are many other ways becoming an organ donor can save lives. Organ donation can also include:
- Organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines
- Tissue such as skin, bones, and tendons
- Blood, Platelets, and Blood Stem Cells
- Bone Marrow
How To Become an Organ Donor
People of all ages and medical conditions can register as an organ donor, and there are multiple ways to sign up. The National Donor Registry is managed by Donate Life America, and you can register on their website in just a few minutes. There are also specific donor registrations for each state, and most offer easy online registration options.
One of the easiest ways to declare your intention as an organ donor is to register when you renew your drivers license. If you check “Yes” in the Organ Donation box, your license will reflect your choice and your information will be forwarded to your state registry.
Other Ways to Observe
Although this years’ celebration is virtual because of Covid-19, there are plenty of ways to get involved while staying safe!
- Participate in National Blue & Green Day. On April 16, 2021 show your support for Donate Life Month by wearing blue and green and promoting the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation.
- Donate Blood. If choosing to donate your organs post-mortem causes you anxiety, consider blood donation. This easy and painless activity can be done in as little as an hour and one donation can save up to three lives. Visit the American Red Cross for information on donation sites near you.
- Tell your story. If you choose to register as an organ donor, share the good news far and wide! Tell family and friends and share your story on social media to encourage your fans to join in the effort.