Healthcare 101, Health Care Guides

Donate Life Month Honors Those Who Have Saved Lives

04/01/2022

Last time you visited the DMV to get or renew your driver’s license, you were probably asked if you wanted to be an organ, eye or tissue donor. And for good reason. Currently, there are over 106,000 people waiting for lifesaving or life-transforming organ transplants in the U.S1. Checking that donor box might save someone’s life. 

Observed every year in April, National Donate Life Month honors those who have generously donated organs, eyes and tissue to help others have a second chance at life. During April, non-profit donor networks also work to raise awareness about donating, and how to go about becoming a donor. 

In 2021, more than 39,000 organ transplants were performed in the U.S. from both living and deceased donors2. Still, thousands more are on waiting lists for life-saving donations. According to recent statistics: 

  • Another name is added to the national transplant list every 10 minutes1. 
  • An average of 20 people die every day waiting for an organ1. 
  • More than 1,900 children under the age of 18 are waiting for life-saving organ transplants2. 
  • Each year, nearly 18,000 people are diagnosed with illnesses that can be best treated by blood stem cell transplantation that requires donated marrow or cord blood2. 
 

There’s no question that donation can be a gift of life. Just one organ donor can save up to eight people, and one tissue donor can heal up to 75 lives1.  

Raising awareness during National Donate Life Month includes dispelling myths and misperceptions that might cause people to be hesitant about donating. If you’re considering becoming a donor but have some concerns or questions, these answers might help. 

Can I still be a donor if I have an illness or medical condition? 

It still may be possible for you to become a donor despite your medical condition, and in fact, many organ recipients have become donors themselves. Medical professionals will be able to determine if you’re a good candidate for donation when the time arises. 

Am I too young/old to be a donor? 

Donors range in age from birth to over 100 years of age. Each potential donor is evaluated at the time of death to determine whether they are eligible to donate, so age may not be a determining factor. 

Will my family be charged anything if I donate? 

Family members and loved ones are never charged for the cost of recovering, transporting and transplanting organs, eyes or tissue.  

How do I become an organ donor? 

Becoming a donor is simple. You can sign up online at organdonor.gov, through your state’s organ donor registry, or at the DMV when you get or renew your driver’s license or ID. You can also include organ donation in your health care power of attorney, and some health apps include a feature to register as a donor. Be sure to inform your family of your decision to donate so they’ll know to honor your wishes. 

Choosing to become an organ donor is an important and personal decision. So is choosing your health plan. We’re here to help you make the best and most informed choices for yourself, your family and your health. Feel free to give us a call at (800) 467-4898 with your questions and concerns. We’ll be there for you. 

  

  1. https://www.donornetworkwest.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/organ-fact-sheet_web.pdf
  2. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/03/31/a-proclamation-on-national-donate-life-month-2021/

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