This April marks the 11th annual National Donate Life Month, a celebration commemorating those who have given or received the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation and those who continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant. For those whose lives have been touched by donation, National Donate Life Month provides a chance to share their story to encourage more people to register as donors.
Countless lives in North Carolina have been saved by donation, including that of four-year-old Daisy. Daisy was born with a rare liver disease and at just seven weeks of age her parents, Jen and Jay, learned that she would ultimately need a liver transplant. At eight-months-old Daisy’s life was saved by a liver transplant. Thanks to the selfless gift of her donor, Daisy’s parents said, “Today, Daisy is a dancer, a swimmer, a comedienne, a student, a big sister. She’s everything we imagined she could be and so much more.” Not a day goes by when they aren’t thankful for the precious gift their daughter received humbled by the generosity of her donor. Jen says, “We know that the best way to honor her donor is to make every single day count. So with every snuggle, laugh, tickle fight, and bedtime story, with every new experience, new word learned, new talent discovered, we are ever mindful that our Daisy lives for two now.”
There are now 112 million registered donors in the United States, 4.4 million from the state of North Carolina. Still, the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the supply of donated organs. Thousands of others are waiting just as Daisy once did:
- Nationally, more than 121,000 men, women and children currently await lifesaving organ transplants. Nearly 3,500 of them are right here in North Carolina. Fortunately, one donor can save or enhance the lives of more than 50 people.
- Sadly, and average of 18 people die each day due to the lack of available organs.
“The transplant waiting list is made up of people of all ages,” says Dawn Hall, Director of Communications for HonorBridge. “Likewise, it’s important to show that people of any age can make a powerful difference in someone’s life by being a donor. Donation saves and heals lives every day, but it can only happen when someone makes the important decision to register as an organ donor. You can make that lifesaving difference by registering your decision.”
If you are not already registered, you can join today by signing up at your local DMV office or online at DonateLifeNC.org/register. This online registry allows you to create or update your donor record at any time. Joining the North Carolina registry means that, once you turn 18, you have made a legally binding decision to become a donor at the time of your death. Just like your will, it is a decision that cannot be overturned by others. Whether you’ve been registered for years or are just signing up now, please make sure your loved ones know about your decision to save lives through organ and tissue donation.