Donate Life Month

“Did you know that April 5th is National Dandelion Day? Did you know that April 29th is National Zipper Day? Now, if you are like me, you don’t really care, but if it was National Coffee Day or National Donut Day, then you may get my attention. However, let me tell you what is important to me, that is the month of April. April is National Donate Life Month.”
Sally Harrison began her speech at The City of Dillon Council Meeting on Monday, April 8th with a quote of conviction for a very good reason. Ms. Harrison stated that she was at the meeting on behalf of Donate Life, which is a nonprofit organization working to increase the number of organs, eyes, and tissues available to save and to heal life through transplantation.
Sally Harrison is currently 3 years post kidney transplant and is very grateful for the individual who made the decision to donate their organs at the time of their passing. Ms. Harrison emphasized how the significance of their selfless decisions has greatly impacted her quality of life.
The Government has contracted with UNOS (United Network of Organ Sharing), to manage the list of individuals waiting for organ transplant. Currently there are over 103,000 individuals on the waiting list for organ transplants. Of those 103,000, over 88,000 are waiting for a kidney transplant and over 10,000 are on the list for a liver transplant. Over 95% of people waiting for an organ transplant are made up of those two groups.
Kidney and liver transplants are the only two organs that come from living donors as well as deceased donors. With liver transplants, a portion of the donor’s liver is removed, and within weeks, the donors liver begins to regenerate into a full-size liver. As far as the recipient, the transplanted liver portion will also regenerate into a full-size liver as well. With kidney transplants, a healthy person can live successfully with only one kidney. Ms. Harrison has been living for the past 3 years with only a single transplanted kidney.
Being an organ donor could be a huge life saving decision to multiple people. When someone passes away, and they are an organ donor, they have the potential to save 8 lives. The most frequently transplanted organs are the heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, both kidneys and lungs. Tissue donation also consist of corneas, bone, tendons, skin, and heart valves. All of these donations can improve or save someone’s life.
Every single day, 17 people pass away because they were unable to get life saving transplants. While that number is high, for comparison, every 10 minutes a new person is added to the transplant waiting list.
Ms. Harrison emphasized the need for organ donors. She stated “You may not know of anyone who needs a transplant today, but that could change tomorrow. It could be a friend, co-worker, or a family member. I am an organ recipient, but I am also designated on my driver’s license as an organ donor. I want to raise awareness of the need for organ and tissue donations and to encourage each of you to consider being a donor. The need is great.”

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