ER doctor and heart transplant recipient shares her lifesaving story as part of Donate Life Month
April 20, 2021 – San Francisco, CA — Canva, the global visual communications platform, has partnered with Donate Life America for National Donate Life Month this April, releasing a free collection of customizable design templates for social media channels and marketing materials that empower people to spread awareness about the impact of signing up to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor.
The collection of templates, available on Canva.com, includes social media posts, banner designs, and colorful backgrounds for Zoom and TikTok that are meant to raise awareness and help people share their decision to be an organ donor. In addition, thank you templates have also been created for donor recipients to share their personal messages and honor those who gave them the gift of life.
More than 100,000 people across the United States are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and thousands more need other vital tissues and cornea donations. While there are 165 million registered organ, eye, and tissue donors in the US, only 3 in 1000 people die in a way that allows their organs to be donated. That is why it is so important for people to register their decision to be a donor. Learning more about the option of living donation is another way to help those waiting for a second chance at life.
Heart transplant recipient Alin Gragossian’s donation story
Alin Gragossian is an ER doctor living in New York City who was given a second chance at life thanks to the generosity of her organ donor. In December 2018, the now 33-year-old was diagnosed with rare genetic cardiomyopathy that led to an urgent heart transplant in January 2019, ultimately saving her life. Her donor, Lucy, forever changed the lives of four people, including Alin’s.
“I received the gift of life thanks to the kindness and generosity of my organ donor and her family. To honor them, I have made it my mission to help others understand and embrace the importance of registering to become an organ and tissue donor,” Alin explains.
During her recovery, Alin began sharing her story on social media and launched her blog A Change of Heart. “It was so important for me to share my story and help others understand how life-changing organ donation is. Canva allowed me to do that in a visually engaging way that was also easy to use. I’m grateful and thrilled that the company has partnered with Donate Life America to empower others to become advocates and share this important message,” Alin shares.
How to participate in National Donate Life Month 2021
To learn more about organ, eye, tissue, and living donation, visit DonateLife.net.
Donation and transplantation statistics:
- In 2020, more than 39,000 transplants brought renewed life to patients and their families and communities (from nearly 12,600 deceased and nearly 5,750 living donors)
- More than 100,000 people are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.
- 60% of patients awaiting lifesaving transplants are minorities.
- Another person is added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.
- Sadly, 7,000 people die each year (on average 20 people each day — almost one person each hour) because the organs they need are not donated in time.
- 85% of patients on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney. The average waiting time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years. A kidney from a living donor offers patients an alternative to years of dialysis and time on the national transplant waiting list (the living donor’s remaining kidney will increase in size, doing the work of two healthy kidneys).
- 11% of patients waiting are in need of a liver. Living donation of part of the liver can help these patients (the remaining portion of the donor’s liver will regenerate and regain full function).
- More than one-third of all deceased donors are age 50 or older; 7% are age 65 or older.
- Each year, there are approximately 58,000 tissue donors and more than 2.5 million tissue transplants; the surgical need for donated tissue is steadily rising.
- A single tissue donor can help more than 75 people.
- More than 66,000 corneas were provided for sight-restoring transplants in 2020.
- More than 165 million people are registered organ, eye, and tissue donors *
* Living donation is not included in a donor registration.
Data from the Donate Life America Registry Overview Report and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of March 2, 2021.
Launched in 2013, Canva is a free online visual communications platform with a mission to empower everyone in the world to design. Featuring a simple drag-and-drop user interface and a vast range of templates ranging from presentations, social media graphics, posters, apparel to videos, plus a huge library of fonts, stock photography, illustrations, video footage, and audio clips, anyone can take an idea and create something beautiful. Canva is available on desktop, web, iOS, and Android.
About Donate Life America
Donate Life America (DLA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization leading its national partners and Donate Life State Teams to increase the number of donated organs, eyes, and tissue available to save and heal lives. DLA owns, manages and promotes Donate Life℠, the national brand for the cause of donation; motivates the public to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors; provides education about living donation; manages the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org; and develops and executes effective multi-media campaigns to promote donation.
Downloadable Media Assets
Media Contact (Canva)
Romina Ederle, Head of PR & Communications
Media Contact (Donate Life America)
Hilary Czarda, Director of Communications