National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was founded by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Observed every April, NDLM encourages Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. It also honors people who’ve saved lives by donating life-saving organs. What’s more, it’s a perfect time to honor the actual organ recipients, their families, caregivers and clinical teams as well, because everyone working together makes a difference.
There are many reasons why organ, eye and tissue donations are so vitally important and have such life-changing impacts, not the least of which are:
More than 100,000 people are waiting for life-saving organ transplants. Of those, more than 14,000 are Mississippians, and more than 1,900 are children under the age of 18 who are on the national transplant waiting list.
More than 39,000 organ transplants from 18,300 donors brought new life to patients and their families in 2020. More than 1,700 children were saved by donations in the same year.
More than 66,000 corneas were provided for sight-restoring transplants in 2020.
More than 2.5 million tissue transplants heal lives each year.
More than 165 million people are registered organ, eye and tissue donors.
(Data Source: Donate Life America Q3 2020 Registry Overview Report, and Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, as of 2/18/21.)
When you sign up on a donation registry, you’re added to a national system that ultimately matches available donor organs with people on a waiting list. A new person is added to the list every 10 minutes, and 22 people die each day awaiting a transplant that never comes.
In addition to the national Donate Life America organization, here at home Donate Life Mississippi is a partnership of Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, Mid-South Transplant Foundation, Mississippi Lions Eye Bank and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS). Its mission is to promote the need for organ, eye and tissue donations in our state. It does this by educating Mississippi residents on the growing need for registered donors so that they can make an educated decision about donating when asked by a DPS examiner if they wish to be a registered donor and to have this designation indicated on their driver’s license.
NDLM has traditionally featured in-person events. In light of the impact COVID-19 has had on most in-person gatherings, however, Donate Life America is encouraging an online-only approach to this year’s observances. Here are some ways you can do so.
Most importantly, register at www.DonateLifeMS.org to be a donor.
Today is also National Donate Life Blue & Green Day. Wear blue and green clothing, and share the message about your participation by promoting organ, eye and tissue donations.
Download free awareness-raising graphics from Donate Life America’s website to share on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Raise funds for Donate Life America, Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, Mid-South Transplant Foundation or Mississippi Lions Eye Bank on Facebook.
Like Donate Life America’s Facebook group, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram, and join the national conversation about life-changing donations.
If you’ve ever made a living organ donation, or if you’ve had a friend or family member whose organs were donated after their death, share these stories on your Facebook timeline about the new lives of hope that were granted to recipients.
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