In the United States, nearly 124,000 adults and children await an organ transplant—more than 5,000 in Illinois alone. In April, National Donate Life Month, please consider these steps to significantly impact the lives of others from Sara Danner, transplant financial coordinator at the Alan G. Birtch, MD, Center for Transplant Services at Memorial Medical Center.
Donating blood is among the most well-known, life-saving acts that can make a positive difference in another person’s health. Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, but only 38 percent of the population is able to perform this life-saving act. If you’re one of them, please consider providing the important gift of a pint of blood. In one year, one person can donate enough blood to impact the lives of 18 people.
Register to be an organ or tissue donor
Your decision to be an organ and tissue donor can save the lives of up to nine people and enhance the lives of hundreds more. Take 30 seconds to register your decision to be an organ and tissue donor through the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, managed by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.
Recently, MMC, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital and Passavant Area Hospital were honored with an Excellence in Eye Donation award. Combined eye donations across Memorial Health System results in more than 200 individuals receiving restored sight through cornea transplants—all because people registered to be organ and tissue donors.
Raise awareness about the need for organ and tissue donors
“There are many myths about organ and tissue donation that keep people from donating,” Danner said. “Some people believe that you can’t have a normal funeral, or that they are too old to donate, or that wealthy people are able to ‘buy’ their way to the top of the list. None of these things are true.”
Learn about organ donation, and help others around you know the facts. Raising awareness and encouraging those who can donate to do so could save many lives. Tell those you love that you want to donate your organs, and encourage them to do the same. Your choice could mean life for someone else.Enjoy LiveWell Online Magazine? Stay up-to-date with a free email subscription!