Saturday, April 02, 2016

April is Donate Life Month | Facts About Organ Donation

Each April, I share the story of my beloved brother and our family's dedication to raising awareness to the need for more organ, eye and tissue donors.

Each April, I share the story of my beloved brother and our family's dedication to raising awareness to the need for more organ, eye and tissue donors.  This post is from the archives. 

April is National Donate Life Month.  It is a time to raise awareness for the need for organ, eye and tissue donation.  It's a touchy subject and I understand a lot are uncomfortable with the idea giving donations after their lives have ended.  I would like to share with you why I am posting this today and how dear of a subject it is to my family.
My 21-year-old brother Timmy was killed in a motorcycle accident on April 26, 2008. Timmy's life was not in vain.  He was a registered organ donor, and while he wasn't able to donate his major organs because of his injuries, he was able to donate tissue, bone and his eyes.  Because of his death and donation, 46 people received his gifts and a chance at a new life.  You can read the full story of my family's relationship with the donation harvesting group including the letter my mom received detailing the exact donations Timmy made and what they are used for in last Donate Life post.

Each April, I share the story of my beloved brother and our family's dedication to raising awareness to the need for more organ, eye and tissue donors.

Today, I'm here today to encourage you to register for organ donation and thank you if you already are.  I know it's a touchy subject and many aren't comfortable with the idea of it, but there is such a need.

Here are some facts about organ donation:
  • There are over 99,000 people on the donor recipient waiting list. 
  • Every 12 minutes, someone's name is added to the waiting list.
  • On an average day, 18 people die because they didn't receive the organ(s) they have been waiting for.
  • Anyone can be a donor, regardless of your age, gender, race or health status.
  • One person can save up to 7 lives with a major organ donation, and can help up to 50 people with tissue donation and 10 people with eye donation.
  • The following things can be donated:  the kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, and the intestines.  Corneas, the middle ear, skin, heart valves, bone, veins, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments can be stored in tissue banks and used to restore sight, cover burns, repair hearts, replace veins, and mend damaged connective tissue and cartilage in recipients.  Stem cells and blood/platelets can also be donated.
  • You don't have to wait until you die to be a donor.  Living Donation is when a person voluntarily "shares" part of a functioning organ with a loved one, friend or complete stranger.
You can make a difference just like Timmy did!  Please make sure you check the "organ donor" box on your DMV license application or visit your state's donor registry link at organdonor.gov and check out donatelife.net for more information on organ and tissue donation!


Each April, I share the story of my beloved brother and our family's dedication to raising awareness to the need for more organ, eye and tissue donors.
Timmy, on his last birthday
If you are registered to be an organ donor, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  If you aren't but are interested or curious about it, I recommend you check out Donate Life for more information to help you make your decision.  To register, all it takes is to mark the Organ Donor box on your DMV license renewal application or visit one of the links above to locate your state's registry page.

If you decide that organ donation isn't the right thing for you, I understand.  Many people will not register for various reasons and I respect your decision.  I just wanted to share the experience my family has had and how much of a blessing it has been to know that my brother's spirit lives on as he continues to help others.

graphic via Donate Life

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for reading this post about a cause that is very near and dear to my heart.  I appreciate you taking the time to consider if organ donation is right for you. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them as best as I can.  

The post April is Donate Life Month | Facts About Organ Donation first appeared on A Simpler Grace.  If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!

2 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you had to loose your brother, but what a wonderful thing to do to celebrate his life! I have signed an organ donor card here in Finland.

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  2. Thank you so much! Donating life is the most generous thing you can do. :)

    ReplyDelete