Become an Organ Donor
Thousands of Americans are in need of vital organs and tissues. For many, the chance to live a full life won’t come unless many more of us consider organ and tissue donation.
When someone with cystic fibrosis develops severe lung disease, they may discuss the option of lung transplantation with their CF care team. Unfortunately, more people apply to get transplants than can receive them, due to a shortage of available organs.
Organ and tissue transplants offer patients a new chance at healthy, productive, normal lives and return them to their families, friends and communities. You have the power to change someone’s world by being a donor.
Because the laws that oversee donation vary from state to state, it is important for you to know how to designate your donation decision. It is also important to keep your family informed of your wishes to avoid any confusion or delays. To find out how to become an organ, eye and tissue donor in your state of residence, visit www.DonateLife.net.
Following is a special report on organ donation aired by Nick News with Linda Ellerbee on Sept. 18, 2011. One of the teenagers interviewed for "The Gift of Life" has cystic fibrosis.
Did You Know?
- 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.
- Every 10 minutes, another name is added to the national transplant waiting list.
- Nearly 1,800 children under age 18 are registered on the organ transplant waiting list.
- Eighteen patients die every day while waiting for a donated organ – an average of one person every 80 minutes.
- Nearly 113,000 people in the United States are waiting for organ transplants, including nearly 1,700 who need lung transplants.
- In 2010, 1,770 lung transplants were performed in this country, while 233 patients died while waiting for a lung transplant.
Learn the Facts
Despite continuing efforts at public education, misconceptions and inaccuracies about donation persist. Learn these facts to help you better understand organ, eye and tissue donation:
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: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ, eye and tissue donation can only be considered after you are deceased.
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.
Fact: Signing a donor card and a driver’s license with an “organ donor” designation may not satisfy your state’s requirements to become a donor. Be certain to take the necessary steps to be a donor and ensure that your family understands your wishes.
Updated April 2012