Category Archives: Community

Canva Partners with Donate Life America

ER doctor and heart transplant recipient shares her lifesaving story as part of Donate Life Month

April 20, 2021 – San Francisco, CACanva, 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

Give hope and help save lives by registering your decision to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor at RegisterMe.org. Download and share any of these Donate Life America templates from Canva.com

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.

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About Canva

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

Click here

           

Media Contact (Canva) 

Romina Ederle, Head of PR & Communications

romina@canva.com

Media Contact (Donate Life America) 

Hilary Czarda, Director of Communications

HCzarda@DonateLife.net 

A Proclamation on National Donate Life Month, 2021

April is National Donate Life Month, a time for all Americans to celebrate the generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, eye, tissue, marrow, and blood donors ‑- and to encourage more Americans to follow their example. We also honor the families and friends of donors who have supported their loved one’s decision to donate, as well as the caring and committed professionals who serve the transplantation community. This month-long observance also encompasses National Pediatric Transplant Week from April 18-24, a week dedicated to ending the pediatric transplant waiting list.

Despite the extraordinary challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw organ transplants from deceased donors set an annual record for the 10th consecutive year — a testament to Americans’ generosity and selflessness even in times of unbearable loss. Thanks to the resilience of our organ donation and transplantation professionals and the caring nature of the American people, more than 39,000 life-saving or life-enhancing organ transplants were performed in the United States last year from both living and deceased donors.

While thousands of Americans receive the gift of life each year through organ transplantation, the number of people in need of life-saving organs remains staggeringly high. There are more than 107,000 people currently on the national transplant waiting list, and another person is added every nine minutes. Sadly, the waiting list currently contains more than 1,900 children under the age of 18 who are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. While very small children most often must receive donations from other young children due to size constraints, older children and adults can often match. In many cases, that means generous American adults can contribute to our goal of ending the pediatric transplant waiting list.

Current statistics show that Americans belonging to minority groups make up nearly 60 percent of those waiting for an organ transplant. Although a transplant can be successful regardless of the race or ethnicity of the donor and recipient, there is a greater chance of longer-term survival for the recipient if the genetic background of the donor and recipient are closely matched. Americans from every community are needed to help make a life-saving difference.

Nearly 18,000 people are diagnosed each year with illnesses for which blood stem cell transplantation — requiring marrow or cord blood — is the best treatment option. Over 65 percent of these individuals require donors from outside their own family. Although some 30 million adults are currently registered as blood stem cell donors, many individuals still have difficulty finding a suitably matched donor, meaning that we need many more registrants to fill this life-saving need.

Every day, 17 people in America die while waiting for a transplant. Yet, all of us have the power to help: one donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation, and can improve another 75 lives through eye and tissue donation. If you have not signed up as an organ donor, we need your help to fill the gap between the availability of organs and people who need them. I encourage all Americans to give hope to those awaiting a match by visiting organdonor.gov for organ, eye, and tissue donation, and bloodstemcell.hrsa.gov for marrow donation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2021 as National Donate Life Month. I call upon every person to share the gift of life and hope with those in need of a life-saving or life-enhancing transplant by becoming organ, eye, tissue, marrow, and blood donors.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/03/31/a-proclamation-on-national-donate-life-month-2021/

April is National Donate Life Month

Celebrating the lifesaving generosity of organ, eye and tissue donation

[April 1, 2021-Richmond, VA]— Each April, Donate Life America (DLA) leads National Donate Life Month (NDLM), an observance to focus national attention on the need and importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. National Donate Life Month is about the importance of registering your decision to be a donor, and honoring deceased and living donors – recognizing that the generosity of donors makes saving lives through transplantation possible.

Donate Life is the national brand for the cause of donation, uniting the hundreds of donation and transplantation organizations; the hundreds of thousands of recipients, living donors, donor families, supporters and patients waiting; and the 165 million people who have registered their decision to be a donor at the end of their life.

More than 100,000 people across the country are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Thousands more people are waiting for lifesaving and healing cornea and tissue transplants. Only 3 in 1000 people die in a way that allows for organ donation to take place. That is why it is important for everyone to register their lifesaving decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Learning more about and considering living donation is another way to help those waiting for a second chance at life.

“Donate Life is the symbol for the cause of donation, all lifesaving and healing organ, eye and tissue donation – living and deceased.” says David Fleming, President & CEO of Donate Life America. “Donation is donation, and at the center of this lifesaving decision is generosity. That is what we celebrate and honor during National Donate Life Month, lifesaving generosity.”

How to participate in National Donate Life Month 2021

Give hope and help save lives by registering your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at RegisterMe.org or in the Medical ID tab of your iPhone Health app.

To those who have already registered their donation decision, thank you! Help continue to save lives by sharing the Donate Life message, educating others about the need and how their generosity can help save and heal lives.

Join key celebrations throughout April to support the Donate Life cause online and in your community:

National Donate Life Month Artwork

The NDLM 2021 art was inspired by the springtime scene of a garden. A garden and the insects and butterflies within it serve as symbols of hope, courage and transformed life — themes repeatedly found within the donation and transplantation journey. NDLM art is used in social media graphics, coloring pages, murals, virtual events and at-home activities throughout April.

Donate Life Living Donor Day, April 7, 2021

Join us in thanking all living donors for their lifesaving generosity! This new celebration invites the public to honor living donors and learn more about living donation. Donate Life America will also be highlighting living donation stories and education on our social media channels every Wednesday in April.

Blue & Green Spirit Week, April 10-16, 2021

Each day of the week leading up to National Donate Life Blue & Green Day is dedicated to a special theme, and will include: recognizing donors, volunteers and healthcare heroes; giving hope to those waiting; and engaging the public in fun at-home activities. Information and free public resources are available at DonateLife.net/celebrations.

National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, April 16, 2021

On Donate Life Blue & Green Day, we invite everyone to show their blue & green colors in support of the Donate Life message and mission! DLA hosts an annual National Donate Life Blue & Green Day Photo Contest through the Donate Life America Facebook page. The photo contest is open to the public, and each year photos are submitted showcasing incredible blue and green spirit and creativity. Information and free public resources are available at DonateLife.net/blue-green-day/.

National Pediatric Transplant Week, April 18-24, 2021

The last full week of National Donate Life Month is dedicated to kids. National Pediatric Transplant Week (NPTW) focuses on ending the pediatric transplant waiting list. Clinical partners share their innovative work and patient stories; donor families whose children have saved and healed lives through organ, eye, and tissue donation are honored; and recipient families share their thanks and celebrate milestones. Information and free public resources are available at DonateLife.net/pediatric-transplant-week.

Thank you to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the American Society of Transplantation (AST), the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS), the International Transplant Nurses Society (ITNS) and Transplant Families for their partnership in helping develop and grow this important week

*Data from the Donate Life America (DLA) Registry Overview Report, organdonor.gov, and Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of March 2021

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

February 14 is National Donor Day!

Observed every year on February 14th, National Donor Day is an observance dedicated to spreading awareness and education about organ, eye and tissue donation. By educating and sharing the Donate Life message, we can each take small steps every day to help save and heal more lives, and honor the donor’s legacy of generosity and compassion. National Donor Day is a time to focus on all types of donation—organ, eye, tissue, blood, platelets and marrow. Join us by sharing social media messages and encouraging others to register as donors.

National Donor Day is also a day to recognize those who have given and received the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation, are currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant, and those who died waiting because an organ was not donated in time.

How can I get involved?
In addition to registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor or contributing to the DLA cause, you can also download our National Donor Day images and Donor Day Valentine’s Cards to raise awareness about donation throughout social media—link these images to other resources for your friends and followers to utilize within your local and online communities.

The Donate Life America Tribute Wall is one way to honor loved ones on National Donor Day. You can also read through our Stories of Hope, inspiring organ, eye and tissue donor and recipient stories.

Explore more things you can do to support Donate Life America and advocate for organ, eye and tissue donation every day of the year.

Visit DonateLife.net/celebrations/national-donor-day to learn more about National Donor Day!

The Secretary of Health and Human Services Recognizes National DMV Appreciation Month

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C., 20201; Letter published September 14, 2020

Dear Department of Motor Vehicles Staff:

l would like to thank you for your continuing efforts and dedication to closing the widening gap between the demand for organ transplants and the supply of donated organs. As a valued partner, you are the first critical step in our collective effort to ensure all Americans are aware of their potential to save and improve the lives of the thousands of men, women, and children waiting for a life-saving or life-enhancing transplant by registering as organ, eye, and tissue donors.

I applaud Donate Life America (DLA) for designating September as National Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Appreciation Month to recognize your efforts and to thank you for your commitment to saving and improving lives. You play a pivotal role in our nation’s extraordinary record of growth in organ donation and transplantation. During this important observance, I want to make sure that you are recognized for two reasons:

  • Because you make a difference every day. When you ask the donor registration question to customers, you are helping people remember to register their decision to be organ, eye, and tissue donors. DMVs remain the primary source of state donor registrations, which now exceed 150
  • Because your work enables more life-saving transplantations every year. In 2019, health care teams across the country performed nearly 40,000 transplants with organs from both deceased and living organ donors. This marks an 7 percent increase over 2018, which was a seventh consecutive annual record.

The Department of Health and Human Services serves the needs of more than 112,000 men, women, and children who are waiting for a transplant. You are vital partners in our effort. On behalf of the Division of Transplantation in the Health Resources and Services Administration, I join with DLA and the donation and transplantation community in thanking you for the work you do each day to help save and enhance lives.

Sincerely,

Alex M. Azar II

Donate Life America Thanks DMV Partners Across the Country for Lifesaving Partnership

(Richmond, VA—September 14, 2020) Each year, Donate Life America (DLA) along with Donate Life State Teams and their members take time in September to recognize the vital role our DMV and Driver License Partners (DLPs) play in helping save and heal lives. DMV staff are front-line champions, committed to asking the donor registration question to customers every day.

Partnerships with DMVs remain the primary source of state donor registrations. More than 90% of individuals surveyed across the country stated that they registered their donation decision through their local DMV.1 DMVs and DLPs are the people on the front lines of service who have helped 160 million people across the country to register their decision to be a deceased organ, eye and tissue donor.2

The work of DMVs across the country enables more lifesaving transplants to be performed every year. An increase in donation education and donor registrations have helped drive an increase in the number of lives saved through organ donation and transplantation each year for the past seven years.3

To offer more time for recognition and support of our DMV partners, DLA is extending our usual celebration of National DMV Appreciation Week to National DMV Appreciation Month. During September, the Donate Life Community will be celebrating this lifesaving partnership through education and outreach to thank DMV staff and leadership across the country. Donate Life America will also be recognizing the regional and national winners of the 2020 DLA DMV Awards.

The DLA DMV Awards recognize both statewide DMV office efforts and individual staff and leadership dedication to the Donate Life mission and successfully increasing donor registration. DLA is grateful for the commitment and partnership of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) in supporting the lifesaving role of DMVs in offering the donor registration opportunity.

The DLA DMV Awards are presented annually at the AAMVA Regional and international conferences. The full list of 2020 award winners is included below; please visit DonateLife.net/DMV-Awards for details on the award winners and their programs. Congratulations to all of the award winners – and thank you for your dedication to helping save and heal lives through organ, eye and tissue donation!

National DLA DMV Award Winners
DLA DMV Innovation Award: Renee Krawiec, Deputy Program Manager, Wyoming DOT & Driver Services
DLA DMV Lifesaver Award: Michael Smith, Director of Operations, Vermont DMV

AAMVA Regional DLA DMV Award Winners

Region 1

DLA DMV Innovation Award: Gabriel Robinson, Director, District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles

DLA DMV Lifesaver Award:

– Colleen Ogilve, Deputy Registrar, MA Registry of Motor Vehicles

– Michael Smith, Director of Operations, Vermont DMV

Region 3

DLA DMV Innovation Award: Mindi Nguyen, Community Outreach Coordinator, Iowa Dept of Transportation

Region 4

DLA DMV Innovation Award: Renee Krawiec, Deputy Program Manager, Wyoming DOT & Driver Services

DLA DMV Lifesaver Award: Christina Salas, La Junta Office Manager, Colorado DMV

To register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, please visit your local DMV or driver license partner office in-person or online. You can also register online in the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org or in your iPhone Health App. To learn more about the DLA DMV partnership and National DMV Appreciation Month, please visit DonateLife.net/DMV.

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About Donate Life America (DLA)
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.

1National Survey of Organ Donation Attitudes and Practices, 2019, Report of Findings, Published February 2020, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Healthcare Systems Bureau, Division of Transplantation.

2Donate Life America Registry Overview Reports (ROR), Year End 2019 Report, Donate Life America

3 Letter from the Secretary of Health and Human Services. (2020). National DMV Appreciation Month Letter. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Media Contact:
Hilary Czarda
hczarda@donatelife.net
804-377-3584

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.