Last Modified: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 2:17 PM
Across the nation, more than 120,000 men, women and children are waiting for organ transplants. Some will receive the help they need, while others will not.
April is National Donate Life Month and Friday is National Donate Life Blue and Green Day. If nothing else, every person can help by registering to make sure their organs are donated in the event of an untimely death. While organ donations often become available after deaths, living donors also provide second chances at life.
One donor can help up to 50 people, according to information from Donate Life America. “Approximately 79 organ transplants take place every day in the United States,” according to Donate Life California. “In 2012, there were more than 30,000 tissue donors and 60,000 cornea donors,” helping to give sight to 46,000 people, according to the group. “More than 1 million tissue transplants are performed each year,” reads the group’s website.
While more than 28,000 patients per year receive transplants, a person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes, and 18 patients die on the waiting list every day, according to Donate Life.
Paul Dooley, founder and CEO of a nonprofit organization that seeks to pair those in need of organ transplants with living donors, said the number of people who die while waiting is much higher — more than 270 per day. “There are simply not enough organs available,” he said.
Living donors can provide a kidney or a part of a liver, lung, pancreas or intestine.
Dooley’s nonprofit, Matching Donors, offers the ill a way to seek potential donors. The group’s website, www.matchingdonors.com, makes it clear that no money is to be exchanged for organs.
Dooley said it is a “more active approach,” than waiting for the right match. A person in need can make a plea for a transplant, while those wishing to donate can seek out the right match.
“Many patients receive their kidney transplant within six months of registering,” Dooley said.
Donate Life said that 112 million people — 46 percent of the Unites States’ adult population — has already registered to be an organ donor.
You can save a life. Register today to be an organ donor after death or as a living donor.