Become an Organ Donor: Facts, Statistics, & Registry

Is there really any truer act of affection than literally giving someone your heart? Sadly, you can't do this because you'd be dead. But there are plenty of organs you can give as a living donor! We (and their organ recipients) are very grateful for their generosity. If you know a donor in your life and would like to show your appreciation, check out some of these gifts for organ donors.

As a living, breathing human being who intends to stay that way, you may be able to donate one of your kidneys, one liver lobe, a lung or part of the lung, part of the pancreas, or part of the intestines. Organ donors and recipients don’t have to be an exact match in many cases, meaning your organs can save a wide variety of people in need.

Organ donor pros and cons? Well for starters, you can save a life, and possibly even multiple lives. However, undergoing an organ donation while alive requires major surgery, which comes with risks. Living organ donors may experience pain during recovery and the surgery can leave lasting scars, but in many cases, organ donors save the life of someone they love, so the pros far outweigh the cons!

Medical research donations can save even more lives, which is why many people choose to donate their bodies to science after death. These organ donors may carry a donor card to make sure that in the case of their death, their organs are used by doctors to help people in need of organ transplants.

You may be wondering, “How do I get a donor card?” Well, the answer is actually very simple! If you live in the United States, you can visit the organ donor registry at the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) and select the state you live in. You will be redirected to complete a simple form, and voila! You’re an organ donor.

Who can donate an organ? Believe it or not, all people should consider themselves potential organ, eye, and tissue donors. Your age and ethnicity don’t matter, and for many organ donations, your health doesn’t matter either. 

Stay tuned for more organ donor facts and appreciation in the months to come, like National Donate Life Month in April, also known as Organ Donor Awareness Month. In the meantime, have a happy National Donor Day!

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