On April 13th, our team became a rainbow to celebrate National Blue and Green Day! Since designating April as National Donate Life Month in 2003, Donate Life America and its partner organizations spend each April honoring the legacy of organ, eye, and tissue donorsand encouraging other Americans to save lives by registering as donors. This is our favorite day of National Donate Life Month, because we get to spend time with our Central Texas family in our finest blue and green (and red, orange, yellow, and purple this year, too) as we amplify both the successes and the needs of transplantation.
What’s the Need?
According to Donate Life America, 115,000 people are waiting for organ transplants at any given moment. Not even the largest football stadium in the US could hold every patient waiting for an organ transplant.
Every 10 minutes, another person is added to the national transplant waiting list. 22 people die each day waiting for a transplant. 82% of patients are waiting for a kidney. 8000 deaths occur each year in the US because organs are not donated in time.
95% of Americans support organ donation, but only 54% are registered as donors.
How Can I Impact Others?
As an organ donor, you could save up to eight lives.
As a corneal donor, you could restore sight to two people, whose corneas have been damaged by disease or trauma. Scleral tissue can be used for research and to repair penetrating eye injuries.
As a tissue donor, you could impact 75 or more people with donation of the following:
-skin grafts that help patients with burns, wounds, and post-mastectomy reconstruction
-bone and connective tissue grafts that restore mobility to patients with traumatic and orthopedic injuries
-heart valves that save the lives of patients born with congenital heart defects
-vascular grafts that restore blood flow and prevent amputation.
Why a Rainbow?
This year’s National Donate Life Month theme was inspired by Maya Angelou’s quote, “Be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud.” As our friends at Donate Life America write, “We all know rainbows – people that have helped carry us through life and its challenges.” By registering as donors, we have the chance to be rainbows ourselves, reflecting back the gifts that make our communities a brighter place to live.