Category Archives: Community

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

Did You Know? More than 90% of organ donor registrations come through the DMV

 

(Richmond, VA—September 1, 2022) September is National DMV Appreciation Month. Each year, Donate Life America (DLA) and its Donate Life State Teams and their members take this month to recognize the vital role Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) and Driver License Partners (DLPs) play in helping save and heal lives. DMV staff ask the donor registration question to customers every day.

More than 90% of individuals surveyed across the country stated that they registered their donation decision through their local DMV.1 [add/edit % who register through the DMV for your state]. DMV staff [add/edit for your state’s DMV or DLP name] are the people on the front lines of service who have helped more than 170 million people across the country to register their lifesaving decision to be a deceased organ, eye and tissue donor.2

Donation makes transplants possible, and donation starts with donor registration. 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 eight years.3

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 2022 DLA DMV Lifesaver and Innovation Awards. [add/edit for your Donate Life State Team activities] Detailed information of 2022 DLA DMV Award winners is available at DonateLife.net/DMV-Awards.

The DLA DMV Awards recognize both innovative statewide DMV office efforts (Innovation Award), and also individual staff and leadership dedication to the Donate Life mission and increasing donor registration (Lifesaver Award). The awards are presented annually at American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) conferences and in local ceremonies across the country. DLA is grateful for its partnership with AAMVA to support the lifesaving role of DMVs in offering the donor registration opportunity.

The best way to celebrate National DMV Appreciation Month is to register your lifesaving decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at your local DMV or driver license partner office in-person or online, and share your registration decision with your family and friends. 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 DMV partnership with the Donate Life cause, please visit DonateLife.net/DMV.

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), EOY 2021 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.

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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 owns, manages and promotes Donate Life℠, the national logo and brand for the cause of donation; motivates the public to register as organ, eye and tissue donors; provides education about living donation; owns and manages the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org, and the National Donate Life Living Donor Registry; and develops and executes effective multi-media campaigns to promote donation.

ONE VOICE, ONE VISION… TO SAVE AND HEAL LIVES

Norcross, GA – August is National Minority Donor Awareness Month (NMDAM). NMDAM is a collaborative effort by the National Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation Multicultural Action Group (NMAG) 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 grew from National Minority Donor Awareness Week, founded in 1996 by the National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program and Clive Callender, M.D., to bring heightened awareness to health disparities, and organ donation and transplantation’s impact in minority communities.

The national transplant waiting list currently stands at more than 100,000 people, with more than 60% of those waiting representing racial and ethnic minorities. 17 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 three times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.2

On average, African American/Black transplant candidates wait longer than non-Black transplant candidates for kidney, heart, and lung transplants.3 These healthcare disparities reinforce 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, NMAG encourages everyone to elevate 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.

Thanks to the generosity of donors and donor families, and the dedication of donation and transplantation professionals, a record number of nearly 41,000 people — including 20,000 from racial and ethnic minorities — received a lifesaving organ transplant in 2021.

To help promote healthy living and disease prevention, NMAG is hosting the 2022 Healthy Living Recipe Contest, which runs from August 1-31.

For contest details, resources, and more information on National Minority Donor Awareness Month, visit nmag1.org. Donation infographic handouts, printable flyers, web banners, and social media graphics are available to the public in both English and Spanish.

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

 

NMAG members: American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), American Kidney Fund (AKF), Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT), Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), Donate Life America (DLA), Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP), National Kidney Foundation (NKF), The Links, Incorporated, Transplant Life Foundation, and United Network for Organ Sharing.

1Data from Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) data as of July 29, 2022, https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/

2 National Kidney Foundation, as of July 29, 2022, kidney.org

3 SRTR Risk Adjustment Model Documentation: Waiting List Models, accessed July 29, 2022, https://www.srtr.org/reports-tools/waiting-list/

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National Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation Multicultural Action Group (NMAG)

The mission of NMAG is to save and improve the quality of life in diverse multicultural communities by creating a positive culture of donation. This is achieved with the following goals: increase transplantation through organ, eye and tissue donation; increase the number of living organ donors; reduce the rate and need for transplantation through disease prevention education. nmag1.org

A Proclamation on National Donate Life Month, 2022

Today, more than 100,000 men, women, and children in the United States need a life-saving organ transplant. In many cases, an organ donation provides another chance to live a full life. For those waiting for that gift of life — the uncertainty can be excruciating, exacting a physical and emotional toll on the potential recipient and their loved ones. During National Donate Life Month, we give thanks to the families and friends of donors who have supported their loved one’s decision to save lives by donating; we show our appreciation for the professionals who serve the transplantation community; and we encourage Americans who can to become organ, eye, tissue, marrow, and blood donors. In so doing, we honor those who have given this most extraordinary of gifts.

Last year, because of the charity and generosity of the American people, our Nation’s transplant experts performed more than 41,000 organ transplants — a record number. We saw organ donations from deceased donors set an annual record for the 11th consecutive year. Living donor transplants, which decreased significantly in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increased with over 6,500 living donor transplants performed.

Despite our progress, our Nation continues to face a critical shortage of organ donors, and the number of people in need of a transplant is high, with 17 people dying every day while waiting for a transplant. Today’s transplant waitlist also includes more than 1,900 children under the age of 18 awaiting the gift of life. That is why during National Donate Life Month, we also recognize National Pediatric Transplant Week from April 24-30, a period dedicated to ending the pediatric transplant waiting list.

Waitlist data shows that people of color make up nearly 60 percent of individuals awaiting an organ transplant. To increase access to transplantation for everyone, we recommit to promoting greater diversity in organ donation, as we continue to advance health equity for all communities, including those that have gone underserved, across our Nation.

Every year, nearly 18,000 people in America are diagnosed with life-threatening blood cancers or other diseases for which a blood stem cell transplant may be their best or only hope for a cure. Approximately 70 percent of these individuals need donors from outside their families. Although nearly 23 million adults in the United States are currently registered as blood stem cell donors, we need more registrants to help the many individuals who still have difficulty finding a suitably matched donor.

During National Donate Life Month, we thank the millions of individuals across America who are living or registered organ donors. We recognize and commend the researchers, advocates, volunteers, and medical professionals working to reduce the number of people awaiting vital organ transplants. Our Nation applauds the therapeutic innovations that have decreased rates of organ rejection and have extended the lifespan of transplanted organs.

While transplantation continues to increase substantially and meet the needs of many people with organ failure, we must continue our efforts to shorten the waiting list and encourage organ donation. If you have not signed up as an organ donor, we can use your help. I encourage every American to help people in need by visiting organdonor.gov for organ, eye, and tissue donation, and bloodstemcell.hrsa.gov for marrow and blood 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 2022 as National Donate Life Month. I call upon every person who can to share the gift of life and hope 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-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

April is National Donate Life Month

 

April is National Donate Life Month

Celebrating the generosity of donors and the lives they save 

[April 1, 2022 – 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 LifeTM 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 170 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. Because only 3 in 1000 people die in a way that allows for organ donation to take place, it is vitally 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.

Ways to participate in National Donate Life Month 2022:

Give hope and help save lives by registering your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at your local DMV, on 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.

The 2022 National Donate Life Month Artwork was inspired by the vital role that bees play in sustaining life. Bees are a small but powerful life force, working together with dedication, collaboration and a strong sense of community. NDLM art is used in resources and events throughout April.

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

Donate Life Living Donor Day, April 6, 2022

Join us in thanking all living donors for their lifesaving generosity! This celebration invites the public to honor living donors and learn more about living donation.

Blue & Green Spirit Week, April 16-22, 2022

Each day of the week leading up to National Donate Life Blue & Green Day is dedicated to a special theme. Information and free public resources are available at DonateLife.net/celebrations. 

National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, April 22, 2022

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 at DonateLife.net/blue-green-day/. The photo contest is open to the public, and each year photos are submitted showcasing incredible blue and green spirit and creativity.

National Pediatric Transplant Week, April 24-30, 2022

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. 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 2022

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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 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.

Donate Life America media contact:

Hilary Kleine Czarda

hczarda@donatelife.net

Alisa Hughley Named Donate Life America’s 2021 James S. Wolf, M.D., Courage Award Winner

RICHMOND, VA, December 6, 2021 – Donate Life America (DLA) is honored to present Alisa Hughley, MPH, National Chair Linkages to Life, Signature Program of The Links, Incorporated, with the 2021 James S. Wolf, M.D., Courage Award.

For more than 10 years, Alisa Hughley has been an outspoken advocate for organ, eye and tissue donation to the public with a focus on reaching multicultural communities. Alisa started volunteering with Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) and the Donate Life cause in 2010, 13 years after her brother Carey died due to a random act of violence. Carey saved four lives through organ donation, two of the recipients were members of Alisaʼs family church.

Alisa has been instrumental in establishing a national partnership between the Donate Life Community and The Links, Incorporated, a nonprofit organization of more than 16,000 professional women of African descent in 292 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. Alisa leads the organ, eye, tissue, and bone marrow donation awareness program called Linkages to Life.

In 2016, Alisa worked closely with Donate Life America to forge a national partnership with The Links, Incorporated to extend the reach of their Linkages to Life program and the Donate Life message to The Links chapters nationwide. The national partnership began with targeted efforts around National Donor Sabbath and has grown to include outreach and programs supporting National Minority Donor Awareness Month.

Alisa continues to make organ donation advocacy a priority in her life as she carries on her brother’s legacy.

“I was truly humbled and deeply honored to learn that my work in the Linkages to Life Signature Program of The Links, Incorporated would be recognized with this prestigious award. My passion for this work comes from a desire to bring equity to every aspect of the American health care system. If my late brother, Carey Hughley, III, as a teenager could choose to become an organ, eye and tissue donor then, donating my time and talents in this endeavor is the very least I can do. I applaud Donate Life America in their efforts to partner and devote resources where the greatest needs exist.”

The James S. Wolf, M.D., Courage Award is named in honor of the transplant surgeon pioneer who founded the Coalition on Donation (now Donate Life America). The award is presented annually to an individual outside the professional donation and transplantation community, who has: played a significant national role in helping to educate the public about organ, eye and tissue donation and promoting donor registration; expressed personal commitment and enthusiasm in educating the public; sought to reach audiences on a national level; and demonstrated the ‘service above self’ attitude in their mission.

To find out more about Donate Life America and organ, eye and tissue donation—and to register your decision to be a donor, please visit DonateLife.net.

To learn more about the Linkages to Life Signature Program of The Links, Incorporated, please visit LinksInc.org/health-and-human-services/.

 

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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 owns, manages and promotes Donate Life℠, the national logo and brand for the cause of donation; motivates the public to register as organ, eye and tissue donors; provides education about living donation; owns and manages the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org; and develops and executes effective multi-media campaigns to promote donation.

Media Contact:

Hilary Kleine Czarda

hczarda@donatelife.net

NMDAM Celebrating 25 Years with – 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 health disparities, and organ donation and transplantation’s impact 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 2020, 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 three times more likely than White Americans to have kidney failure. Hispanics are 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to have kidney failure.2

On average, African American/Black transplant candidates wait longer than non-Black 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 elevate 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 American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT), Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), Donate Life America (DLA), Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), 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. Donation infographic handouts, printable flyers, web banners, 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, or in the National Donate Life Registry at RegisterMe.org or in your iPhone Health App.

1Data from Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) data as of June 22, 2021, https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/

2 National Kidney Foundation, as June 22, 2021, kidney.org

3 SRTR Risk Adjustment Model Documentation: Waiting List Models, accessed June 23, 2021, 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

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 170 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 2021, more than 41,000 organ transplants brought renewed life to patients and their families and  communities (from nearly 20,300 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 9 minutes
  • Sadly, 7,000 people die each year (on average 17 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 85,600 corneas were provided for sight-restoring transplants in 2021. 
  • More than 170 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 January 2022.

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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!