Turns out February 14th is an ideal day to reflect on matters of the heart – as well as matters of the liver, lungs, bone marrow, kidneys, whole blood, and platelets.
Begun in 1998, National Donor Day was created to focus people on five points of life: organs, tissues, marrow, eyes, kidneys, platelets, and blood – and to encourage them to take action to register to be an organ donors. By educating and sharing the Donate Life message, we can work together to save and heal more lives, honoring every donor’s legacy of generosity and compassion.
The need for organs is real, ongoing and urgent. The number of people on the National Donor Registry waiting for transplants is (pun intended) – heartbreaking. Many thousands await lifesaving transplants, but all too many others die before they can get the organs their bodies so desperately need.
Did you know…
According to organdonor.gov, every registered donor has the potential to save up to eight lives and enhance over 75 more!
MediGO is among the many organizations celebrating February 14th to highlight this need — and encourage donations by sponsoring blood and bone marrow drives and organ/tissue donor sign-ups.
So… let’s do the numbers:
- There are almost 107,000 men, women and children on the national transplant waiting list.
- Every 9 minutes, another person is added to the list.
- 39,000 transplants were performed in 2020.
- 17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.
- There are 250 transplant centers in the U.S.
- The organ with the most patients waiting for transplants is the kidney (source: Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients)
The organ transplant system:
The United Network for Organ Sharing is an important part of the transplant process. This private, nonprofit organization helps manage the U.S. organ transplantation system. UNOS collects, stores, reports, analyzes, and publishes data (online database system UNetSM) on every U.S. organ involved in a transplant or potential transplant. UNOS also makes sure data pertaining to patient waiting lists, organ matching, and number of transplants performed is available to the public.
Operated under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network uses UNOS to chronicle every organ donation and transplant event occurring in the U.S. since Oct. 1, 1987.
This Valentine’s Day, consider getting your whole heart and body involved in making a real difference in the world. Take the first important step in making the most generous, proactive gesture a person can make – register as an organ donor.
Sign up in your own state and tell your family about your decision, encouraging them to help carry out your wishes. Or go to the MediGO resource page to find the organ procurement organization nearest you.
Don’t forget you can make a living kidney donation, too. For information about donating a kidney for someone in need, check out www.kindneyfund.org.
The scientists and health professionals at MediGO are all about making vital organ transplants as successful as possible. This Valentine’s Day, help us help by finding it in your heart to donate it forward.