100 Million in the U.S. Now Registered as Organ and Tissue Donors
Posted October 11, 2011 in News Category
A goal set by Donate Life America and the donation and transplant community in 2006 was achieved this month. One hundred million people in the United States are now reported as registered organ, eye and tissue donors through state donor registries. The milestone is a testament to our human nature and our willingness to work together for the greater good, even at times of great national trial. As we celebrate this achievement, the need for transplants continues to rise.
More than 112,000 men, women and children nationwide await lifesaving organ transplants today. Thousands more await needed tissue transplants to resume their normal lives. A surge in the number of donors is necessary to continue saving more lives. Missourians are encouraged to register as donors by visiting donatelifemissouri.com. Illinoisians can register at donatelifeillinois.org, and Arkansas residents can register at donatelifearkansas.org.
To date, the Donate Life Missouri registry has more than 2,895,000 registered organ, eye and tissue donors. Illinois has almost 6 million registered donors. With 1,686 Missourians, 4,977 Illinoisians, and 310 people in Arkansas awaiting organ transplants and the thousands more in need of corneal and tissue transplants, it is critical to continue increasing the number of registered donors.
MTS is committed to increasing registry enrollment. After a year-long study of data and strategic planning, MTS will begin community-based initiatives in 2012 in an effort to drive enrollment in communities with low registry rates. Each person that registers as a donor provides hope to the thousands of men, women and children who are in need of transplants to return them back to their lives and loved ones.
A few remarkable stories:
- In Kansas City, Chris was no longer able to participate in his favorite activity – fly fishing – because kerataconus, an eye disorder, stole his vision. Chris is now back on the lake after a sight-saving cornea transplant.
- Larry died twice in a St. Louis hospital, but was able to be revived and placed on the heart transplant list. After receiving a heart on his son’s 31st birthday, Larry’s life was saved and he was able to continue his career as a community outreach advocate.
- This year, Columbia resident Lisa celebrates the 20th anniversary of receiving her life-saving heart transplant. Since receiving her transplant, Lisa has become the mother of two and continues her career in veterinary medicine.
Said Annie Kuhl, chairperson for Donate Life Missouri, “Like millions of generous Americans, Missourians have made the heartfelt decision to pledge to become eye, organ and tissue donors. Their choice is vital to those waiting on the transplant list – in fact, one donor can save the lives of eight individuals and enhance the lives of 50 more.”
As we celebrate this great national achievement, 100 million registered donors, we continue in our work to save lives by joining Donate Life America and its network of state teams and partner organizations in their goal of adding 20 million more registered donors by the end for 2012. Increasing the number of registered donors will result in more lives saved.
The public is encouraged to join the 100 million individuals already registered as organ, eye and tissue donors by visiting donatelifemissouri.com, donatelifeillinois.org or donatelifearkansas.org.
About Donate Life Missouri
Donate Life Missouri consists of Heartland Lions Eye Banks, Mid-America Transplant Services, Midwest Transplant Network, Missouri Kidney Program, the Missouri Department of Revenue and Gift of Life in Kansas City. Together, the team strives to encourage donor registry amongst Missourians to help meet the needs of Missourians who are in need of an organ or tissue transplant.