UAB Medicine News


The Importance of Donate Life Month

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National Donate Life Month is an annual observance established by Donate Life America to raise awareness about organ donation.

The goal is to showcase the various perspectives of families and individuals touched by organ donation and transplantation. Donate Life America and Legacy of Hope (LoH) focus state and national attention on how every individual has the potential to give the gift of life by registering his or her decision to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor and considering being a living donor. One organ donor can save eight lives, and one tissue donor can save or enhance the lives of 100 people.

Donate Life America also develops a theme and art design for NDLM each year to illustrate the power of donation. For 2020, the theme is Garden of Life, representing an ecosystem of plants, insects, and other organisms working together to form an interconnected living system. Similarly, donors can nurture and enrich our communities through organ, eye, and tissue donation. During NDLM, LoH encourages people to participate in this lifesaving and healing garden through registering as an organ, eye, and tissue donor; educating themselves about living donation; and championing the Donate Life cause.

Desperate Need for Organs

Nationally, nearly 40,000 organ transplants were performed in 2019 using organs from both deceased and living donors. Currently, more than 156 million people – about 60% of the U.S. adult population – are registered organ, eye, and tissue donors.

Unfortunately, the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the number of organs actually donated. More than 114,000 people are waiting for a transplant, and an average of 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not donated in time. More than 80% of patients on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney, while 12% need a liver.

LoH is the federally designated, nonprofit organ procurement organization for the state of Alabama. It coordinates organ and tissue donation for transplantation and research, working with health care and community partners to support donor families, facilitate donation, and provide community education to empower people to become organ and tissue donors.

Click here to learn more about Legacy of Hope or to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor.

National Donate Life Month is the perfect time to reserve your Donate Life Alabama distinctive license plate. Legacy of Hope has until May 31 to reach the goal of 250 paid pre-commitments for the plate to be produced. Of the $50 fee, $41.25 will be donated to LoH to support public education efforts. Purchase your plate here.