Thousands of people are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Registering to become an organ and tissue donor takes just minutes and can help those in need. Learn more about the stats regarding organ and tissue donation in Illinois and Indiana.

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 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

*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 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 today to learn more and become someone’s hope for tomorrow

View the Latest Numbers on Donation

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organ procurement organization that coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides public education on donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana. As one of 58 OPOs that make up the nation’s donation system, we work with 180 hospitals and serve 12 million people in our donation service area. Since 1986, we have saved the lives of more than 23,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients through our efforts.

register to be an organ and tissue donor

Illinois Organ & Tissue Donor Registry

as of June 30, 2018
An average of 22 people die each day while waiting for a transplant.
Of adults (18+) in Illinois are registered as organ & tissue donors.
In 2018, more than 200 will die while waiting for a transplant in Illinois
Every 10 minute, a new person is added to the national transplant waiting list.
One donor can save or enhance the lives of more than 25 people.

Gift of Hope Donation Activity

2017 2016 % of Change
Organ Donors 406 392 3.57%
Organs Transplanted 1,225 1,242 -1.37%
Organs per Donor 3.02 3.17 -4.73%
Tissue Donors 1,804 1,714 5.13%
Bone Donors ** 1,644 1,598 2.88%
Skin Donors ** 1,210 1,150 5.13%
Heart Valve Donors ** 136 177 -23.16%

**Subset of Tissue Donors

Local & National Waiting List

National Organ Waiting List 113,648
Illinois Organ Waiting List 3,981
Indiana Organ Waiting List 1,326

Illinois Waiting List

Kidney 3,328
Liver 357
Heart 229
Kidney/Pancreas 63
Lung 50
Pancreas 35
Intestine 5

Contact Us For More Information Or Questions!

Address: 425 Spring Lake Drive,
Itasca, IL 60143

Phone: (630) 758-2600

Fax: (630) 758-2601

Join the Registry