National Donate Life Month was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Celebrated in April each year, NDLM features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation. If you are not an organ donor, but would like to be, you can register to be one here, it takes 2 minutes!
This year, with the help of my friend Kate Griggs, and the Support of Transplant Village, we are organizing a unique and special event to shine a light on the importance of living organ donors. Donate Life America and National Donate Life Month focus on the importance of donating organs at the time of death. While this is important, deceased donation is actually a small part of the solution to our perceived “organ shortage.” Even if every American signed up to be an organ donor upon death, we wouldn’t come close to meeting the demand for organs that currently exists. This is one of many reasons why living organ donation deserves more media attention, people don’t realize the scope of the demand, and what it would take to meet the demand for organ transplants. I believe that if living donation became mainstream and received the same amount of attention that deceased donation gets, that we as a country will come much closer to meeting the needs of those waiting for a lifesaving transplant. More than 23 people die each day waiting for a lifesaving transplant. To change that statistic, we need more people to donate their organs when they die, AND we need more people to donate organs while they are alive.
On April 21, 2018, we are hosting an event called
Our goals of the events are:
- Create a new Guinness record buy gathering 250+ living donors together in 1 place. This record does not yet exist but will when we can prove we had 250 of us all in 1 place.
- Provide a place for donors to meet and talk to other donors. So many of us have met and supported each other online and over the phone, but have never met in person. This is a unique opportunity to meet other people who “get it.”
- Raise awareness: We want to connect with as many media outlets as possible. With the help of the media, we will tell our stories, offer information about living donation, and inspire others to consider living organ donation. This will help “normalize” living donation. If you can help us do this, please contact me directly at 312.927.7655.
- Raise money: Insurance pays for much of the costs associated with being a living donor, however in reality, being a donor ends up costing money for most people. Whether it is time off work without pay, medical supplies, or food and hotel expenses, there will always be costs that are not covered by insurance. We believe that more people would consider being a living donor, if there wasn’t a huge cost associated with donating. Funds raised from the event will start a living donor assistance fund at Northwestern, to help future donors offset the cost of their donation.
- Connect the transplant community: Transplant Village has a mission to be inclusive of the transplant community as a whole, and to be the connectors within the community. The following Transplant Organizations have already committed to supporting our event, and we are so thankful for their support!
Call to Action
OK, so if I still haven’t convinced you to share your spares yet, that’s OK, I have a back up plan for you. My call to action is to come support us, and make a donation by being a sponsor or buying tickets so that someone who does want to be a donor doesn’t have to worry about going into debt to become a donor. Please share this event with anyone who is interested in supporting living organ donation, and show up for the event as it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch a world record happen!
Thanks for reading,