Do you want to help make a difference? Currently there are more than 113,000 people on an organ and tissue donor waiting list in the United States hoping that organs will become available that can save their lives. Nearly 4,000 of those people are in Illinois and another 1,326 are in northwest Indiana according to Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network.
The men, women and children on the waiting list are struggling to survive each day in hopes that organs will become available to change their lives. Last year, about 200 people died in Illinois because organs did not become available for them in time. The more donors who sign up, the greater the chances are that the day will come when their lifesaving transplants can happen. Visit https://www.giftofhope.org/trends-waiting-lists/ to learn how the need changes each day.
There are some misconceptions surrounding organ and tissue donation that can make people reluctant to sign up.
*Age, race, health and social status do not affect your ability to become a donor. There can be 75 different ways that a donor can change lives from donations of tissues, bone or organs. In some cases, being able to match the ethnicity of the donor and the recipient can improve the success rate of the transplant. A diverse pool of donors provides better possible outcomes for those in need.
*Organs and tissues are not sold to the highest bidder. Strict rules are followed to be sure donated organs and tissues are distributed according to unbiased factors including compatibility, need and location.
*Being an organ donor is never a factor in a person’s care. In most cases, emergency medical personal have no idea if patients are registered to be organ donors. Medical staff always take every possible step to save lives. It is not until all lifesaving measures have been taken and a person is determined to be unable to be revived that a different medical team is contacted to assess the possibility of donating tissues or organs.
*Organ donation is not rejected by religious leaders. The act of donation is viewed as generous and compassionate by most major religions. To learn more about the religious views from different faiths, visit https://donatelife.gov.au/sites/default/files/Religion_facts.pdf.
*Being an organ donor will not incur any cost for you or your family. The expenses for necessary care are borne by the recipient’s insurance.
*Being an organ donor does not affect the possibility of having an open casket for a funeral. Funeral arrangements will not be affected by organ donation.
*It not difficult to sign up to be a donor. Visit “Join the Registry” on the Gift of Hope website to fill out the appropriate forms.
The ultimate reason to become a donor
Becoming an organ and tissue donor can and does save lives. There are many lifesaving experiences found on https://www.giftofhope.org/. The following statistics from the United Network of Organ
Sharing showcase lives that have been saved:
*As of July 2019, there were 19,513 transplants performed in the United States from 9,396 donors this year alone.
*In 2018, a record-breaking 36,500 transplants were completed in the United States.
Taking the first step
Becoming an organ and tissue donor is an act of compassion. Gift of Hope can help with making the first step. The uplifting power of being an organ donor is truly a gift of hope. By coordinating organ and tissue donation for Illinois and Indiana, Gift of Hope has made it possible for donors and recipients to be matched. Gift of Hope also has an educational component, as it provides information and support about the donation process. Gift of Hope reported an impressive 67 percent increase in tissue donors and 14 percent increase in organ donors in 2018. Through the donation process, tens of thousands of people received lifesaving and life-enhancing transplants during 2018. Visit https://www.giftofhope.org/how-donations-work/ today to learn more and become someone’s hope for tomorrow