Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network one of only three OPOs to reach historic milestone
ITASCA, Ill. – Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network announced that through the generosity of Illinois and northwest Indiana residents who say yes to organ donation, 30,000 organs have been donated for life-saving transplants—a national milestone.
This makes Gift of Hope and the region it has served since 1987 only the third among the nation’s 57 designated donation service areas to reach this level of organ donation. The two others are OneLegacy serving greater Los Angeles and Gift of Life Donor Program based in Philadelphia. In April, Gift of Hope expects that Illinois and northwest Indiana will achieve another milestone: 10,000 people who have donated organs to others.
Last year, Gift of Hope reported record levels of donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana, with 474 organ donors and their families providing 1,352 life-saving organs for transplant.
“We’re honored to work with this many donors and families to save this many lives,” said Harry Wilkins, MD, Gift of Hope President/CEO. “Each organ donation is a gift of life and healing to people in need. Today’s milestone shows the scale of compassion in giving hope to those on the transplant waiting list. We celebrate and honor every donor, every family and every partner who makes this possible.”
The need for donation remains, with thousands of people awaiting organ and tissue transplants. In April, Gift of Hope, partner organizations and communities throughout Illinois and northwest Indiana will observe National Donate Life Month encouraging everyone to “Say Yes!” to registering as organ, eye and tissue donors, with a goal of motivating 30,000 new people to register. A single organ and tissue donor can save up to nine lives or improve the lives of more than 25 people.
To learn more about donation and offer hope to people in need of transplants, visit www.giftofhope.org. and join the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry or Donate Life Indiana registry.
About Gift of Hope
Gift of Hope is the not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) that coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides public education on donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana. As one of 57 OPOs that make up the nation’s organ donation system, Gift of Hope works with 180 hospitals and serves 12 million people in its donation service area. Since 1986, its work has saved the lives of more than 23,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. For more information, visit www.giftofhope.org.