Valentine’s Day is all about showing your love for your significant other. But what if it were also about showing your love for perfect strangers?
February 14th is National Donor Day, a day of awareness about how registering to be an organ donor can give someone a second chance at life. Does your driver’s license currently indicate that you are a donor? If not, and you’d like your organs (as well as potentially your tissues, marrow, platelets and blood) to help someone else after you are no longer here, sign up to be a donor today. In the time it takes you to register, someone with a life-threatening condition will be added to the waitlist.
Wondering if your registration will really make a difference? Here are a few statistics that help underscore the need for more donors:
- 117,001 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant
- 18 people will die each day while waiting for a new organ
- 1 organ donor can save up to eight lives total
In particular, there is a need for more minority donors. While organs are not matched according to race/ethnicity, there is a greater likelihood that compatible blood types and tissue markers – the critical elements of the matching process – will be found among members of the same ethnicity. Thus, a greater diversity of donors could potentially increase access to transplantation, which is essentially the only treatment for end-stage organ failure (e.g. kidney failure, heart failure, liver failure).
Are you awaiting an organ transplant – or the recipient of one? Join PatientsLikeMe to connect with others like you. We have thousands of transplant patients among our members, including those with (or still awaiting) a heart transplant, kidney transplant, liver transplant, lung transplant and pancreas transplant. What’s it like to go through organ transplantation? Read our in-depth Patient Voice report on “Life After a Transplant” as well as our insightful interviews with liver transplant recipient Amy Tippins and kidney transplant recipient Michael Burke.