April is National Donate Life Month (NDLM), so to bring much-needed attention to this important and life-saving subject, we’ve compiled a top 10 list of reasons why you should become an organ donor. By donating your organs, you’re literally giving the gift of life to someone in need of a transplant. Currently, there are more than 114,000 people in the United States in dire need of an organ — and every 10 minutes another name is added to the list.
Fortunately, organ transplants save 30,000 lives a year in the U. S. alone. AdventHealth Medical Director of Abdominal Transplant, Bobby Nibhanupudy, MD, says “There is no kinder act of love than donating a part of yourselves so that others live.” With that in mind, we encourage you to read these important reasons to become an organ donor today:
1. It’s quick and easy
Registering to become an organ donor is as easy as clicking this link and signing up for the national organ donor database at the U.S. Health and Human Services website. It’s easily the most important thing you can do with just five minutes of your time.
2. Everyone is welcome
Dr. Nibhanupudy urges, “Anyone can be a donor regardless of age, religion, race and nationality. The decision is between you and your family.” If you’re under the age of 18 you’ll need your parent’s consent to sign up. Otherwise all people, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion are welcomed to give the gift of life.
3. The donation list is impartial
Just as everyone is welcome to become a donor, the donation list is fair and based solely and strictly on match, medical criteria, time on the list, and severity of illness. No one, not even former vice president Dick Cheney, can be moved up the list ahead of someone in more need.
4. ‘But One Life to Give’ the gift of life to 85 others
When you become an organ donor, you’re not potentially just saving one person’s life. Your donation could help up to 85 people in need. There are 12 different tissues and organs that can be transplanted to heal others in need. By donating you can save eight lives, restore sight to two blind people, and heal the lives of 75 others with your tissues.
5. Organ donation is ‘Holy’ accepted
Most major religions in the world accept organ transplantation as a good or charitable practice, while some even encourage it. Organ donation is a personal choice and if you have any concerns regarding your spirituality, we encourage you to speak with your religious leader first.
6. It’s wildly popular
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 95% of American adults support organ donation. Strangely though, only 54% of them are actually signed up as organ donors. But now that you know how quick and easy it is to sign up to save and change peoples’ lives with your selfless gift, you can tell others.
7. Actual donors are very rare
Unfortunately, only three people in a thousand die in a way that allows for transplantable organs and tissues. 0.3% is a very small number compared to the amount of people waiting for a transplant. By adding yourself to the list, you’ll help increase those odds.
8. Bragging rights
41% of people support donation but have not signed up. By being a proud organ donor, you may encourage others to become one as well, which helps everyone.
9. The organ shortage continues
Every year, the waiting list outpaces the number of donors and transplants being performed which creates a deficit and makes for longer wait times — which is fatal for an average of 22 people a day. By becoming a donor you’re increasing their odds of survival.
10. It could be you
With any luck, you and your loved ones will never need an organ transplant, but what if? Give the gift of life and make an incredible difference in the world by signing up today.