Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April is National Organ Donation Month

What you need to know

Transplantation is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine. But despite continuing advances in medicine and technology, the need for organs and tissue is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation.

Transplantation gives hope to thousands of people with organ failure and provides many others with active and renewed lives.

Learn the facts

Fact: Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history.

Fact: All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.

Fact: When you are on the waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information, not your financial status or celebrity status.

Fact: An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care, respect and dignity.

Fact: There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation.


Although there have been advances in medical technology and donation, the demand for organ, eye and tissue donation still vastly exceeds the number of donors.

o More than 100,000 men, women and children currently need life-saving organ transplants.

• Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.

• An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.

• In 2009, there were 8,021 deceased organ donors and 6,610 living organ donors resulting in 28,465 organ transplants.

• Last year, more than 42,000 grafts were made available for transplant by eye banks within the United States.

• 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.

Please consider becoming an organ donor. Here’s how:

As a resident of Nebraska, you should take the following steps to ensure your decision to become a donor is carried out:

• Sign up online in the Nebraska Donor Registry at http://www.donoregistry.org/Register/ne/en.

• Indicate your wishes on your driver's license or state ID when you apply for or renew it.

• Talk to your family about your decision to become an organ donor.

Nebraska does not require family consent to carry out your decision to be an organ, eye or tissue donor. However, keeping everyone informed will help avoid any confusion or delays. Print a family notification card at www.donatelife.net.


Want to learn more about donation in Nebraska?
Please contact:
Cindy Schabow
Donate Life Nebraska
Phone: 402-559-3788
Email: cschabow@cox.net

A Personal Story of Organ Donation

Lori and Dave Clausen’s daughter, Rachel, was in a car accident on September 18th, 2009. Lori says, “When we realized we were not going to get the miracle we were praying for, we chose to make our 16 year old daughter the miracle for someone else, only to discover that was a decision Rachel had already made for herself when she got her driver’s license. For us it was a decision we have never regretted. We don’t think of it as our daughter living on in someone else; to us she helped some else live their own life more fully. We have learned more about organ donation since that time, and when we hear of someone receiving a transplant, we not only say a prayer for the recipient, but also for the family somewhere that chose to give hope to others in the middle of their own grief. We know first hand how precious that gift is and hope someday to hear from the recipients of our daughter’s organs. It would be a blessing to us to know that something good was able to come out of her death.”

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