National Donate Life Month saves lives

National Donate Life Month occurs every April to raise awareness about the importance of each American becoming a registered organ donor.

Registering to be an organ donor is a legally binding document that states that registrants agree upon death “to donate all eligible organs and tissue for transplant,” according to Donate Life America.

Registering to be an organ donor is a choice that every American has the right to make, and when donors register, a note is put on their drivers license or identification card. This symbol allows medical professionals to be aware of how they should handle their patients’ body in the event of death.

National Donate Life Month focuses on encouraging people “to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation,” according to Donate Life America.

This year’s theme is “Life is a beautiful ride,” complete with a bicycle logo. This theme is based on the idea that bicycles are a symbol for the journey one goes through in the organ donation process. Similar to the human body, bicycles are each unique, coming in different “styles, shapes, and sizes, but each is comprised of the same components,” according to Donate Life America.

To promote the “Life is a beautiful ride” theme, there are shirts, mugs, stickers, sunglasses, water bottles and more available for purchase with the 2019 National Donate Life Month logo. The organization also has social media images and web banners that are easily sharable on their website for people trying to encourage participation.

People can also donate their organs before they pass away. Someone can become a ‘living’ donor by donating “a kidney, or a part of the liver, lung, intestine, blood, or bone marrow,” according to the American Transplant Foundation.

Stevenson University sophomore Laila Abdul-Rahman has experienced the gift of organ donation through her mother who received a donated organ in February 2017. Abdul-Rahman said she is grateful for the registered organ donor who saved her mother’s life.

To learn more and register as an organ donor, go to https://www.donatelife.net/register/.

FUN FACTS ABOUT ORGAN DONATION

  1. Donation of one body’s organs can save up to eight lives, and donation of tissue can save up to 75 lives, according to Donate Life America.
  2. Potential donations include heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, corneas, skin, tendons, bone, nerve, and heart valves, according to United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
  3. The United States Department of Health and Human Services recorded that as of January 2019 there were over 113,000 people on the transplant waiting list.
  4. Over 700,000 organ transplants have taken place since 1988 in the United States, according to the American Transplant Foundation.
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