April 1st marks federally sanctioned Donate Life Month. Throughout the month, LifeLink of Florida honors the spirit of those individuals who make transplants possible—organ, tissue and eye donors. We celebrate the lives of recipients fortunate enough to have received their second chance at life thanks to the generosity of an organ donor, remember the heroes of organ and tissue donation whose legacies live on in the lives of those they helped save – and call attention to the more than 115,000 men, women and children who still wait; more than 5,800 patients waiting in Florida alone. Today, we encourage everyone to take action to save lives.
One organ donor can potentially save the lives of eight people, and improve the lives of 70 more through tissue donation. Donation, with the primary exception of living kidney donation, occurs after death and deciding to register as a donor does not impact your medical care should you become ill or injured in an accident. People of all ages can choose to donate and help others in need, and donation is supported by all major religions as a personal choice and act of generosity. Donation places no financial burden on the donor’s family.
Last year, nearly 35,000 lives were saved throughout the country thanks to organ donation, more than ever before, and thousands more were improved through tissue transplantation. Sadly, 22 people die each day because of a lack of available organs for transplant. As tens of thousands of patients await throughout the United States for their chance to receive the Gift of Life through kidney, heart, lung, liver, pancreas and/or small intestine transplants, we each have the opportunity to help make a lifesaving difference for critically ill patients, simply by registering as organ and tissue donors online at www.DonateLifeFlorida.org or during a driver license transaction while at your local driver license office.