ITASCA, Ill. (Jan. 10, 2019) –  In 2017, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network made history by offering a record number of people the opportunity to say “yes” to becoming organ and tissue donors. Those records were shattered in 2018, with a 67 percent increase in tissue donors and 14 percent increase in organ donors. Through the generosity of these organ and tissue donors, tens of thousands of people received lifesaving and life-enhancing transplants during 2018.

“While it’s easy for people to understand how donation benefits recipients, people forget that becoming an organ and tissue donor also benefits donor families,” said Kevin Cmunt, Gift of Hope President/CEO. “Families take comfort in knowing their loved ones’ legacies don’t end with their death but live on through the gift of donation. Thanks to our compassionate teams at Gift of Hope, we were able to offer the gift of donation to more than 10,000 in 2018.”


2018/2017 Gift of Hope Donation Data

 2018­2017% Change
Organ Approaches979929+5%
Organ Authorizations609589+3%
Organ Donors461406+14%
Organs Transplanted1,3021,226+6%
Tissue Approaches9,1545,754+59%
Tissue Authorizations3,9622,734+45%
Tissue Donors2,9911,796+67%


Although more than 1,100 people in Illinois received organ transplants and countless more received skin grafts, bone grafts, valve replacements and other tissue transplants, the shortage of donated organs and tissue remains critical.

“There are still misconceptions about what organ and tissue donation is, and more public and clinical education is needed,” said Cmunt. “I firmly believe that donation benefits every family. As a nation, we need to remove barriers to donation and ensure that every family that wants to leave a lasting legacy has the support, information and opportunity they need.”