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Donate Life Month

Donate Life Month

By Christopher Coyne

April is National Donate Life Month, an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those who saved lives through the gift of donation. Did you know that you could save up to eight lives with by donating your organs, and enhance even more through tissue donation? In New York State alone, nearly 10 thousand people are waiting for organ transplants at any given moment. Every two and a half hours, a person's name is added to the transplant list in New York State, and sadly, every 15 hours someone dies while waiting for a compatible donor organ.


Let's start with the facts. Organ transplants save lives. From vital organs like hearts and kidneys to eyes and tissue, donations can prolong and improve the quality of every recipient's life. More than 90 percent of Americans strongly support organ donation and more than half have already granted permission to donate their organs. And although the number of organ donors across the state and the country continues to rise each year, so does the number of patients on transplant waiting lists.


New York State lags far behind the national average in the percentage of people over 18 who have registered as organ donors, (22% versus 45% nationwide) So, there are some things we can do to narrow the gap between those waiting for organs and those willing to donate and, thankfully, there are a number of groups at the national, state and community level that are working hard to make organ donation as easy and straightforward as possible.

For a wealth of helpful information, frequently asked questions and organ donation statistics and protocol go to www.donatelifeny.org. You can actually register to be an organ donor safely and confidentially online. Or call the state Organ and Tissue Donor registry at 1-866-693-6667. Even though more than 600,000 New Yorkers have already registered, New York State lags far behind the national average in the percentage of people over 18 who have registered as organ donors, (22% versus 45% nationwide). You could change that statistic for the better by registering today!

 


Additional Resources: organdonor.gov