Anyone who has been touched by the gift of organ, eye, and tissue donation mission knows there’s only one word to describe a donor and the impact they have on others: hero.
“My brother, Jason, was an organ donor. He was in a car accident back in 2018 but he was able to save lives by donating his heart and other organs to six people,” said Ally. “Mid-America Transplant has been really awesome to give us a reason to celebrate him every year. It feels amazing to know he had that big of an impact. I know he would be honored to do it. That was classic Jason. It's good to celebrate it as it gives us something after his death to look forward to.”
While February 14th is most widely known as Valentine’s Day, it is also known within the organ and tissue donation community as National Donor Day. This observance is a time to celebrate donors and loved ones who have given the gift of life, have received a donation, are currently waiting, or did not receive an organ in time.
Jessica’s daughter Haley became a donor hero on February 11, 2020. “Haley was able to donate her corneas, heart valves, and tissue,” Jessica said. “She was just the sweetest little girl. She loved everyone, loved life and she wanted to make everybody happy. She was funny. She was a little bit ornery, but in the cutest way. She was just the best person ever.
She would have wanted to be an organ and tissue donor. I'm just thankful that she was able to because I didn't even know that was a possibility until Mid-America Transplant called me.”
National Donor Day is also the perfect opportunity to raise awareness by discussing the lifesaving benefits of organ, eye, and tissue donation. One way to show how much you care for others is to join the donor registry.
Dwayne’s son Zachary saved many people in need of a transplant when he became a donor in 2005. “It's a little bit of comfort to know Zachary had an impact,” Dwayne said. “He always thought about others in life. It was kind of ironic that maybe six months before he was killed, we were all sitting around one night in the house and talking about being a registered organ donor and that it was marked on my driver's license for years.”
Highlighting the need for more life-saving transplants
By educating and sharing the importance of becoming a registered organ donor, we take small steps every day to help save and heal more lives while honoring every donor hero’s legacy of generosity and compassion. Already registered? Be sure to tell your family you’re an organ donor. National Donor Day is the perfect time to have that conversation. Your loved ones can advocate for you and help with the process to ensure your wishes are honored and you’re able to leave a lifesaving legacy.
Celebrate National Donor Day by encouraging others to sign up for the donor registry, and increase the chance that patients waiting will get the transplants they need to survive. Consider providing hope to the more than 100,000 people awaiting lifesaving organ transplants and the hundreds of thousands more in need of tissue transplants.
If you have a connection to donation that you’re comfortable sharing, let others know about your experience. Our Facebook page is a growing community of those impacted by organ, eye, and tissue donation. Be sure to follow along and share your connection.