Category Archives: Community

Donate Life America Partners with Miromatrix Medical Inc. to Save More Lives

The partnership will expand the shared mission to provide life-saving organs to those in need

August 19, 2020 — Donate Life America (DLA) is excited to announce a new partnership with Miromatrix Medical, Inc. in an effort to save more lives through organ donation and transplantation. It’s estimated someone is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes in the U.S. Unfortunately, 22 people die every day because the organ they need isn’t available. Both DLA and Miromatrix share a similar mission to provide life-saving organs to those in need, and their new partnership will help increase DLA’s continued education and donor registration efforts.

 

“Our Donate Life Partners help make our work possible through financial support as well as in helping us extend the reach of the Donate Life message,” says DLA President and CEO David Fleming. “We are thrilled to welcome Miromatrix as a new Donate Life Partner and are especially proud to work with an organization that demonstrates such a strong commitment to honoring the gift of a donor while also saving the lives of those waiting for a transplant.”

 

One organ donor can save and heal up to 75 people, yet 8,000 patients who are on the transplant waiting list this year sadly won’t receive an organ in time. Like DLA, Miromatrix is hoping to bridge the gap. Founded in 2009 from a breakthrough process of perfusion decellularization and recellularization developed at the University of Minnesota, Miromatrix is creating a new source of transplantable organs by bioengineering fully functioning livers, kidneys, lungs and hearts with the ultimate goal of developing patient-specific organs.  

 

“Our mission is to take the organs that aren’t suitable for transplantation and turn them into transplantable organs, ultimately eliminating the need for a transplant waiting list,” says Miromatrix CEO Jeff Ross. “By proudly partnering with Donate Life America and bringing more awareness to this critical situation, we can turn the impossible into the possible and help save and improve even more lives together.” 

 

Currently, 95% of Americans are in favor of being a donor but only 58% are registered. As part of the DLA partnership network, Miromatrix joins other champions of hope around the country, including LifeSource, the organ, eye and tissue donation agency serving Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, to increase the number of people who register as donors. 

 

 “More than 3,200 of people in our region alone are waiting for a life-saving transplant,” says LifeSource CEO, Susan Gunderson. “We need everyone to register as a donor. People’s lives are at stake, and we all have the power to help.”

 

For more information about DLA and becoming a donor, please visit donatelife.net. For more information about this new partnership or to set up interviews, please contact Hilary Kleine Czarda at 804-377-3584 or hczarda@donatelife.net.


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 tissues available to save and heal lives. DLA 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. For more information, visit DonateLife.net.

 

About Miromatrix

Miromatrix Medical Inc. is a Minnesota-based biotechnology company on a mission to save and drastically improve patients’ lives by eliminating the organ transplant waiting list. Through their proprietary perfusion decellularization and recellularization technology, the company is developing fully implantable human organs including livers, kidneys, lungs and hearts. Miromatrix previously developed and commercialized the only liver-derived biological products including MIROMESH® (soft tissue reinforcement) and MIRODERM® (advanced wound care). Miromatrix’s perfusion decellularization and recellularization technology is protected by a series of issued patents and pending patent applications in all major markets worldwide. For more information, visit miromatrix.com.

 

About LifeSource

LifeSource is one of 58 organ procurement organizations (OPO) in the United States – each OPO has its own designated service area to facilitate the organ donation and transplantation process. LifeSource serves the second-largest geographical region, focusing on Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and portions of western Wisconsin. As an OPO, we are designed to facilitate organ, eye and tissue donation between hospitals and transplant centers; support families and patients by honoring their intentions; and educate our communities about the impact of donation. To learn more, visit life-source.org/.

 

2020 is the perfect time to hear our Call – ONE VOICE, ONE VISION …TO HEAL AND SAVE LIVES

Washington, D.C. – National Minority Donor Awareness Month is a collaborative effort by the National Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation Multicultural Action Group to save and improve the quality of life of diverse communities by creating a positive culture for organ, eye, and tissue donation. National Minority Donor Awareness Month stems from National Minority Donor Awareness Week, founded in 1996 by the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP), to bring heightened awareness to donation and transplantation in minority communities.

Our voices are united to address the number one problem in transplantation: the gap between the demand for organ transplants and supply of donated organs. The waiting list currently stands at more than 100,000 with more than 60% representing racial and ethnic minorities. Even though a record number of nearly 40,000 people, including more than 18,000 racial and ethnic minorities, received the gift of life in 2019, the gap remains staggeringly high. On average, 20 people die every day waiting for a transplant.1

The need for donation and transplant is more pronounced in minority communities where disproportionately higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease contribute to organ failure, especially kidney failure. African Americans are almost four times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics are 1.3 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.2

On average, African American/Black transplant candidates wait longer than White transplant candidates for kidney, heart and lung transplants.3 These healthcare disparities are part of the need for National Minority Donor Awareness Month education and outreach to help heal and save lives in our communities.

During National Minority Donor Awareness Month, national organ donation organizations will highlight the need for more organ, eye and tissue donors within multicultural communities, provide donation education, encourage donor registration, and promote healthy living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation. National Minority Donor Awareness Month is another important effort to promote the positive messages that are necessary for minority communities to make the decision for organ, eye and tissue donation.

National Multicultural Action Group partners, the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT), Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), Donate Life America (DLA), National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP) and National Kidney Foundation (NKF), have developed the National Minority Donor Awareness Month Toolkit — now available for download and public dissemination at amat1.org and DonateLife.net. For resources and more information, please visit DonateLife.net/nmdam. Stories, donation facts, statistics, and general social media graphics are available in both English and Spanish. Please use hashtag #NMDAM when sharing and supporting National Minority Donor Awareness messages and information on social media. You can register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, at your local DMV, RegisterMe.org, or in your iPhone Health App.

1Data from Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) data as of July 2020, https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/

2 National Kidney Foundation, as July 21, 2020, kidney.org

3 SRTR Risk Adjustment Model Documentation: Waiting List Models, as of July 21, 2020, https://www.srtr.org/reports-tools/waiting-list/

Media Contact:
Bobby Howard
National Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation Multicultural Action Group
Bobby.Howard@lifelinkfound.org
404-354-2713

We stand with the Black community

We paused our social media in recent weeks so we could listen. There is intense grief in our country, and the need for meaningful change. We stand with the Black community.

Nearly 30% of patients on the national transplant waiting list are Black; 60% are from multicultural communities. We are committed to helping educate about the need for donation, eliminate health disparities and increase access to transplantation.

We thank and support the Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) and the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP) for their work and advocacy, and are honored to serve as a member of the donation and transplantation National Multicultural Action Group with AMAT, MOTTEP, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), National Kidney Foundation (NKF), and the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO).

We will continue to listen, learn, and work for meaningful change in healthcare and community health education. Thank you all for being part of the Donate Life community.

COVID-19: Organ, Eye & Tissue Donation

The ongoing spread of COVID-19 has undoubtedly transformed all of our lives. Since we cannot all be together in-person right now, we have been taking an online approach to honoring donors, recipients, and the incredible medical professionals continuing to risk their lives to heal others. We still encourage you to register your decision to be a donor as an act of kindness you can do from home while social distancing. 

With our collective attention focused on treatment and prevention of COVID-19, transplant candidates, recipients and their families and caregivers may be wondering how this coronavirus affects organ, eye and tissue transplants and donation.

As researchers learn more daily about COVID-19, the donation and transplant community continues to respond and update practice to prioritize the health and safety for all. According to the American Society of Transplantation (AST), the risk of acquiring COVID-19 from an organ donation is low – donors are being screened for coronavirus symptoms and exposure to protect the health of patients waiting for transplants. Anyone with a compromised immune system, recipients and those around them, their families and caregivers, should take extra care to avoid exposure to COVID-19. More information and resources are listed below.

Resources for Transplant Recipients, Candidates, Families and Caregivers

With the way things are rapidly changing day-to-day, misinformation can easily spread. We encourage everyone to rely on trusted information sources to stay up to date. Here are some of the sources we turn to for answers during these uncertain times.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The CDC is the nation’s health protection agency. Find the most up-to-date U.S. guidance on COVID-19 prevention and treatment here.

American Society of Transplantation (AST)

AST is dedicated to advancing transplantation through research, education, and advocacy. Find the answers to frequently asked questions from transplant candidates and recipients regarding COVID-19.

United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)

UNOS manages the federal government’s organ transplant system by coordinating with the many transplant and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) across the U.S. Find the latest guidance on COVID-19 for patients, medical professionals, transplant hospitals, and OPOs.

Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO)

The AOPO is the professional association of the 58 federally-designated organ procurement organizations. Find out the latest Coronavirus precautions for organ procurement organization professionals.

World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO is an international organization that directs the response to global health threats within the United Nations and their partners. Find the latest COVID-19 information, guidance, travel advice, and research here.

National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)

Coronavirus has not affected every region in the U.S. at the same rate, and states and localities may have issued different directives. Find your local health department to find information for your town/city.

 

Thank you all for being partners in the lifesaving Donate Life mission, and helping make organ, eye and tissue donation and transplant possible.

April is National Donate Life Month

Honoring hope, courage and life

[April 1, 2020-Richmond, VA]— Every April, Donate Life America (DLA) leads the observance of National Donate Life Month (NDLM) to focus national attention on organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. During NDLM, DLA encourages everyone to share the importance of registering their decision to be a donor, honor deceased and living donors, and recognize the lifesaving and healing gift of transplantation.

NDLM 2020 also marks the 20th year of the Donate Life℠ symbol. Since 2000, Donate Life has been recognized as the national symbol for the cause of organ, eye and tissue donation. Blue, green and the swirl represent the sky, earth and circle of life. The Donate Life symbol is a call to action, asking the public to Donate Life — to register their decision to save and heal lives and consider living donation.

The Donate Life brand unites the hundreds of donation and transplantation organizations and the hundreds of thousands of patients, recipients, living donors, donor families, supporters and patients waiting.

“This April, we are recognizing the generosity of donation that has grown from the public over the past 20 years,” says David Fleming, President & CEO of Donate Life America. “National Donate Life Month is a time to educate about the donation cause, honor donors and donor families, and recognize the life made possible by the decision of individuals and the dedication of donation and transplant professionals.”

Key observances of National Donate Life Month 2020:

National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, April 17, 2020

This year for National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, the public is encouraged to wear blue and green Donate Life colors to help spread awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. DLA hosts a national Blue & Green Day photo contest through the Donate Life America Facebook page for everyone to show their creative blue and green spirit. Information and free public resources for download are available at DonateLife.net/blue-green-day/.

National Pediatric Transplant Week, April 19-25, 2020

The last full week of National Donate Life Month is dedicated to kids. National Pediatric Transplant Week provides a platform to talk about the potential of ending the pediatric waiting list, to share transplant program innovation and patient stories, and to honor donor families whose children have saved and healed lives through donation. Information and free public resources are available at DonateLife.net/pediatric-transplant-week.

Donate Life America (DLA) partners with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the American Society of Transplantation (AST), and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) to observe National Pediatric Transplant Week.

National Donate Life Month Artwork

Each year, DLA creates unique artwork for National Donate Life Month. The NDLM 2020 art was inspired by the springtime scene of a garden. A garden and the insects within it serve as symbols of hope, courage and transformed life — themes repeatedly found within the donation and transplantation journey.

Donate Life America recognizes and thanks the 60 percent of U.S. adults who have registered their decision to save lives as organ, eye and tissue donors at the time of their death — and the record number of nearly 7,400 living donors whose generosity saved lives in 2019. 112,000 people across the country are currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant. On average, 20 people die each day because the organ they need is not donated in time — almost one person dying every hour. Thousands more people are waiting for lifesaving and healing eye and tissue transplants. You can help by registering your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor.

Register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at RegisterMe.org or in the Medical ID tab of your iPhone Health app.

*Data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of March 2020

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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 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.

Donate Life America media contact:

Hilary Kleine Czarda
804-377-3584
hczarda@donatelife.net

DLA National Donate Life Month COVID-19 Response

With the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and the incredible speed at which things are changing around us, Donate Life America is encouraging the public and the donation and transplantation community to cancel all in-person events for National Donate Life Month (April). Our priority is the safety and health of both the public and professional Donate Life communities. In accordance with the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we ask that everyone take this action to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

Donate Life America will be taking an online approach for April Donate Life Month observances. Please join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and DonateLife.net to help us honor donors, recipients, and their families and caregivers. We will also be recognizing the clinical teams continuing their dedicated work during this time to help honor the gift of donation and save the lives of those waiting for a second chance at life. 

 

Thank you all for being partners in the lifesaving Donate Life mission, and helping make organ, eye and tissue donation possible. 

Donate Life America Announces Winners of 2019 Pinnacle Awards

RICHMOND, VA, December 9, 2019 – Each year, Donate Life America (DLA) recognizes innovative Donate Life State Team and partner programs that increase education and donor registrations. Identifying and sharing successful programs is key to increasing donor registration and saving more lives through donation and transplantation.

Programs submitted for DLA Pinnacle Awards are evaluated for clear goals and objectives, implementation and creativity, incorporation of the Donate Life brand – the national symbol for the cause of donation, donor registration and positive cultural change results, return on investment, and replicability.

DLA is excited to share the 2019 DLA Pinnacle Award winners, recognized at the October 2019 DLA Annual Conference in Memphis, TN:

  • Fundraising ProgramFalmouth Road Race, New England Donor Services
  • Living Donation Program“Be a Living Donor” Web Page, Donate Life Virginia
  • Media Campaign38 Seconds, Donor Network of Arizona
  • Miscellaneous ProgramGoing Live for Life!, Donor Network of Arizona
  • Youth Education ProgramSibling Rivalry KY ΣΠ Challenge, KY Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust for Life & KODA
  • Best Multicultural ProgramGiving Me Life: A Visual Journey of African American Recipients, Donor Network West
  • Best Remix Pause to Give Life – Statewide Flag Raising, Donate Life Wisconsin
  • Best ROI – Rally Por la Vida (Rally for Life), LifeLink of Puerto Rico
  • Hospital/Healthcare Program & Innovation1st Nursing Schools Congress, LifeLink of Puerto Rico
  • Event and PlatinumThe Freedom to Give, Lifeline of Ohio

Congratulations to the 2019 DLA Pinnacle Award winners! Thank you for leading the Donate Life Community in reaching the public and engaging our partners in education about the cause of donation and inspiring more individuals to register their lifesaving decision to be organ, eye and tissue donors.

A brief description of each program is included below.

2019 DLA Pinnacle Award Recipients

Fundraising ProgramFalmouth Road Race, New England Donor Services

New England Donor Services (NEDS) has participated in the Falmouth Road Race ‘Numbers for Non-Profits’ program since 2012, with volunteers raising over $200,000 ($24,450 in 2018) for education and awareness programs. In this low effort, low cost campaign each participant commits to raising a minimum of $750 in exchange for a guaranteed entry into the race. In addition, the peer-to-peer fundraising campaign doubles as a registry outreach opportunity.

Living Donation Program“Be a Living Donor” Web Page, Donate Life Virginia

With a goal of making it easier for Virginians to learn about living donation, Donate Life Virginia created a page on their website beginning with 14 frequently asked questions that addressed such areas as criteria for being a living donor, recovery, expectations, cost and recent advances. A collaborative effort with representation from almost every transplant center in the state, there are stories of Virginians who have benefited from the gift of living donation as well as a map of the transplant centers performing living donation and their contact information.

Media Campaign38 Seconds, Donor Network of Arizona

What can you do in 38 seconds? Launch a potato. Belch a song. Devour a tray of tacos. Do you know what else you can do in 38 seconds? Be noble. Save lives. Become an organ, eye and tissue donor. Males 13-34 years of age were the target audience for this campaign as they have the highest potential to be donors, yet are the least likely to be registered. 38 Seconds explored a series of hilarious videos of millennials performing mindless and absurd activities to contrast a better way to use 38 seconds and directly registered 1,106 people in the process.

Miscellaneous ProgramGoing Live for Life!, Donor Network of Arizona

The goal of this media training was to unify the staff in organizational brand messaging about donation and donor registration, recognizing that these on-camera skills are transferable to multiple environments. Going Life for Life included an hour-long training regarding local news outlets, how they operate, newsroom jargon and ways to write press releases to earn coverage. Another hour-long training taught tricks on using a smartphone to take compelling pictures and video for multiple platforms. Every employee showed drastic improvement in confidence on camera and comfort with DNA messaging.

Youth Education ProgramSibling Rivalry KY ΣΠ Challenge, KY Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust for Life & KODA

Through a partnership with KY Sigma Pi, this program challenged all chapters in the state to earn points by doing donation related activities on campus and encouraging their peers to register. Whichever school had the most registrations and points won the competition. The Bridge2Life app was used to provide quick information. During the two-week challenge, 75 fraternity members across all 5 chapters were educated about donation and there were 386 new donor registrations.

Best Multicultural ProgramGiving Me Life: A Visual Journey of African American Recipients, Donor Network West

This exhibit was born of the desire to lay claim to the affirmation #BlackLivesMatter through the lens of the countless African American lives that are being saved and healed through organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. Well-known Bay Area social documentary photographer Katie Sugarman (who also happens to be the daughter of a heart recipient) created visual testimonials of nine African American recipients whose lives have been transformed by the gift of life. Held at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, the exhibit integrated multimedia elements to creatively highlight donation facts and audio testimonials. In addition to providing a unique opportunity for attendee, the event garnered media coverage, social media engagement and a bonus grant to incorporate core messages from the exhibit into a video project that can reach additional audiences.

Best Remix Pause to Give Life – Statewide Flag Raising, Donate Life Wisconsin

Donate Life Wisconsin created this inaugural event as a statewide observance to kick off National Donate Life Month and create a major media relations opportunity. Wisconsin hospitals and other organ, eye and tissue donation related organizations across the state were invited, and 81 participated. Flags were raised at 10:08am, to highlight that one donor can save eight lives, followed by one minute and fourteen seconds of silence to recognize the 114,000 patients awaiting lifesaving transplants. The event was a media success with 18 TV stations attending, 89 confirmed TV broadcast hits, 7 radio interviews and numerous newspaper stories.

Best ROI – Rally por la Vida (Rally for Life), LifeLink of Puerto Rico

The goal of this National Donate Life Month kick-off initiative between LifeLink of Puerto Rico, ECONO Supermarkets and FM 96 radio station was to educate Puerto Ricans in three southwestern towns about donation and promote the Done Vida donor registry. Music, donation messaging and interviews with donor families and recipients were incorporated by the radio DJ from the rolling stage at each stop and a popular musician and liver recipient participated. This event was very economical at less than $5,000 and generated media coverage, as well as orienting more than 500 people and registering 350.

Hospital/Healthcare Program & Innovation1st Nursing Schools Congress, LifeLink of Puerto Rico

During National Donate Life Month 2018, LifeLink of Puerto Rico developed an initiative with four nursing schools. The project consisted of giving each university an investigative theme directly related to organ, eye and tissue donation that they developed and presented at the Congress. The topics included authorization rate, family services and brain death declaration. Additionally, the students needed to coordinate donation education and registration events on their campuses. This resulted in 817 new registrations and 11 radio interviews across the universities, helping to build a culture of donation in each of them.

Event and PlatinumThe Freedom to Give, Lifeline of Ohio

Lifeline of Ohio has a unique partnership with the Ohio Department of Corrections (ODRC), as the hospital designated to care for seriously ill or injured prisoners in Ohio is in their service area. In 2015, they were asked by the ODRC to develop a program so that staff and prisoners could make an informed donation decision. The goal was to build a culture of donation through education, sharing personal stories and meeting volunteers with a connection to donation. They hoped to encourage inmates to see that at the end of their lives, they could do something good for their community. Through this program, Lifeline has registered 1,541 individuals (463 in 2018 alone) and received 119 death referrals, with seven going on to donate lifesaving organs for transplant. In addition, seven prisons have contributed more than 400 shawls crocheted by inmates to Lifeline’s bereavement program as another way of giving back to their community.

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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 tissues available to save and heal lives. DLA 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.

Contact:
Hilary Czarda
Donate Life America
hczarda@donatelife.net
804.377.3584

Donate Life America and the Fresenius Medical Care Foundation Announce Groundbreaking National, Universal Living Donor Kidney Registry

Partnership Includes Creation of At-Home Living Donor Testing Kit in
Effort to Alleviate Wait Time on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List

Waltham, Mass. – October 22, 2019 Donate Life America (DLA) and the Fresenius Medical Care Foundation (Foundation) today announced a unique partnership, launching a groundbreaking national, universal living donor kidney registry and at-home testing kit to improve access to living donation for the 95,000 people on the national transplant wait list currently waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant.

The Foundation, a separately operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit of Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), has donated $500,000 to DLA, marking the beginning of an ongoing partnership focused on kidney transplants and living donor access. The funding and partnership will create two new initiatives to encourage living donation. The initiatives launching in 2020 include:

  • The National Donate Life Living Donor Registry: The first national, universal living donor registry will offer the opportunity for the public to register their interest in becoming a living donor, reducing the barriers that currently exist with no clear pathway to express interest. This platform will capture preliminary matching results from the new at-home testing kits, and in partnership with the United Network for Organ Sharing and transplant programs across the country, will allow potential living donors and recipients to find matches nationwide. This new living donor registry will be built as part of the already existing, secured, and trusted National Donate Life Registry that houses deceased organ, eye, and tissue donor registrations.
  • First-Ever At-Home Living Donor Testing Kits: Using saliva sample technology, DLA and the Foundation will create a faster, consumer-friendly screening option to identify and register potential living donors for kidney transplant. The streamlined screening process will help retain living donor interest by converting testing results to a potential match as quickly and safely as possible. The average wait time for a kidney donation can decrease significantly to one year or less for living donor transplants, as compared to 3-7 years for deceased donor transplants.

“We are committed to ensuring that every eligible person who is seeking a kidney transplant receives one,” said Bill Valle, Chief Executive Officer of FMCNA and President of the Foundation. “Kidney transplant is the best life-saving option for people living with kidney disease. We are dedicated to partnering with organizations like Donate Life America to raise visibility of the need for transplants while streamlining the living kidney donation process. By creating these innovative, first-ever resources, we expect to nearly double the number of successful matches within one year of launch, leading to reduced average transplant waiting times for people living with kidney disease.”

This year, an estimated 20,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list will receive a kidney transplant, primarily from deceased donors. Another person is added to the waiting list about every ten minutes. With a shortage of deceased donor kidneys to meet demand, living donor kidneys are a strong option with higher post-transplant success rates than deceased donor kidneys, according to United States Renal Data System data.

“We have seen the public embrace the idea of living donation, yet what has been lacking is an easy pathway to register their interest,” said David Fleming, President and CEO at DLA. “We are excited to partner with the Fresenius Medical Care Foundation to reduce barriers to living donation, grow generosity, and save more lives.”

The National Donate Life Living Donor Registry is expected to be live by spring 2020. In the meantime, the organizations will pilot the first-ever living donor testing kits in select transplant programs through February 2020 and will share additional updates on the program in advance of national implementation next year.

To learn more about the partnership between Donate Life America and the Fresenius Medical Care Foundation, visit www.fmcna.com/foundation.

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 tissues available to save and heal lives. DLA manages and promotes Donate Life℠, the national brand and symbol 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.

About Fresenius Medical Care Foundation
The Fresenius Medical Care Foundation’s mission is to raise awareness of kidney disease and transplantation as a lifesaving solution. Through partnerships and financial support of innovative programs and solutions, the Foundation aims to change the trajectory of kidney disease for patients and communities. The Foundation was established in 2018 by Fresenius Medical Care North America, the premier healthcare company focused on providing the highest quality integrated care to people with renal and other chronic conditions.

Media Contact:

Donate Life America

Hilary Czarda

Director of Communications

HCzarda@donatelife.net

(804) 377-3584

Fresenius Medical Care North America

Brad Puffer

Senior Director of Corporate Communications

Brad.Puffer@fmc-na.com

(781) 699-3331

2019 ECHO Donate Life Focuses on Diversity and Inclusion

Donate Life message reaches multicultural communities across the country

(Richmond, VA—July 10, 2019) —Celebrated July 14-27, 2019, ECHO Donate Life is an annual initiative focused on reaching multicultural communities with the Donate Life message. Currently, multicultural patients make up a majority of the patients waiting on the national transplant waiting list.

ECHO Donate Life is about community helping community to save and heal lives. Lifesaving conversations are best heard from trusted sources and communities. The goal of ECHO Donate Life is to provide multicultural communities with meaningful tools and resources to support conversations about the importance of donation and transplantation, and how to register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor.

The ECHO Donate Life initiative engages trusted social media and community storytelling to talk about donation, highlights the importance of registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, honors the generosity of donors and donor families, and celebrates the lives saved in multicultural communities.

“Donation is the one thing that has the power to level the playing field in all communities, regardless of color, race, or religion. It’s about every community helping every community through organ, eye, and tissue donation. Donation, in all its forms, in all its communities, has the opportunity to change and save lives,” says Marion Shuck, President Elect of the Association of Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT).

This year, ECHO Donate Life resources, storytelling and outreach will include:

  • Walgreens ECHO Donate Life In-Store Events: On Saturday, July 20, 9am-3pm, Walgreens will be hosting donor registration drives at more than 170 stores across the country. Walgreens has been an incredible national partner in ECHO Donate Life. Walgreens support has helped to bring resources and information about the cause of donation into hundreds of communities. The list of participating Walgreens stores is available at DonateLife.net/echo.
  • Resources: ECHO Donate Life resources and information (flyers, takeaway cards, web banners, social media graphics, videos) are available to the public for download at DonateLife.net/echo. Resources are available in English, Spanish and additional languages. Use the power of your voice to help build community by sharing your decision to register with family, friends, neighbors and coworkers. Encourage them to ECHO you and Donate Life.
  • Boomerang #ECHODonateLife Challenge: DLA and AMAT are excited to host the second year of the Instagram Boomerang #ECHODonateLife Challenge. Individuals and communities share a Boomerang video on Instagram about why donation is important to them and/or what transplantation has made possible for them. Tag @donatelifeamerica, use the hashtag #ECHODonateLife Challenge and encourage people to ECHO you and register their decision to be a donor.

You can register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor in the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org in your iPhone Health App, or in Spanish at DoneVida.org.

Data from Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of April 2019.

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About the Association of Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT)

AMAT was established in 1992 to address the increasing need for organ, eye and tissue donors in the multicultural communities, while simultaneously offering support, shared expertise and professional development opportunities for its members as they save and heal lives. AMAT is a self-sustaining, self-governed organization operating solely on voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and other affiliated organizations.

Media Contact: Tanise Love

tlove@donatelifenc.org, 317-413-3299

About Donate Life America (DLA)

Donate Life America 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 tissues available to save and heal lives through transplantation while developing a culture where donation is embraced as a fundamental human responsibility. DLA 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. For more information, please visit, DonateLife.net.

Media Contact: Hilary Czarda

HCzarda@donatelife.net, 804-377-3584

Organ Donation Permissible for American Muslims

Collaboration with Islamic ruling body results in first-ever North American fatwa on donation

On behalf of the Donate Life Community, Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) is pleased to announce the newly released, and first-ever, fatwa* by the Fiqh** Council of North America (FCNA) declaring that organ donation*** and transplantation is permissible within the Islamic faith and among American Muslims.

Founded in 1986, the FCNA is a body of recognized and qualified Islamic scholars from the United States and Canada who interpret Islamic law in the North American environment. Its 19 members issue religious rulings (fatwas), resolve disputes and answer questions relating to the Islamic faith, with the goal of developing methodologies for applying Islamic law to life in the West. Until now, the issue of organ donation among American Muslims had never reached consensus or received an official ruling.

WRTC began its outreach efforts with the FCNA – and other prominent Islamic organizations – in 2015 when a noticeable and persistent pattern developed among family members of potential donors who were Muslim. When approached about donation in the hospital, the vast majority of these family members did not give authorization. The same pattern was seen outside the walls of the hospital; Muslim individuals in the D.C. metro area were not registering to be organ donors. The singular reason given in both situations was: “It’s against my religion.”

Over the past four years, WRTC led the effort to bring together national leaders in donation and transplantation (AOPO, DLA, UNOS, HRSA) with the FCNA and other influential Muslim academic and religious scholars, to reach consensus on this issue. This fatwa is the result of that effort.

It’s important to note that in this fatwa the FCNA states that it is still seeking clarity among its 19 members on the issue of brain death, and whether it meets the standards of legal death in Islam. But this point of internal debate does not conflict with, or supersede, its “Permissible” ruling on organ donation.

In the coming weeks WRTC will be finishing work on a comprehensive toolkit with resources designed to help OPOs and Donate Life State Teams implement a Muslim outreach initiative (both clinical and community-based) in their respective DSAs. This toolkit will be available on the AOPO Portal and the DLA Community Site. If you have any questions regarding this announcement, please contact Lesley Compagnone, WRTC’s Director of Community Affairs at lesleyc@wrtc.org.

* A ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority.
** The theory or philosophy of Islamic law based on the teachings of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet.

*** This ruling applies only to solid organs. The FCNA has not discussed, or ruled on, eye and tissue donation.

Photos Above: A Donate Life Driver’s License

In the summer of 2016, the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) held the country’s first Fiqh Forum on organ donation. After the event, several of the world’s most influential Muslim academic and religious scholars symbolically demonstrated their collective support of organ donation and transplantation acceptance for North American Muslims.