Join HonorBridge in recognizing National Donate Life Month this April, a month-long celebration that showcases various activities to help encourage North Carolinians to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation. Since 2003, April has served as a time to highlight stories such as a grateful recipient named Vera and young Sam who is currently waiting for a second chance at life.
Vera is certainly thankful for the lifesaving gift of donation. She had lived a healthy life, but a few years ago, she began to have shortness of breath and became very tired after performing everyday activities like walking up the stairs. She went to the hospital and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. “My health continued to deteriorate,” said Vera. “Once my heart was performing at only 15 percent, I was told I would need a heart transplant to survive. So I began my wait.”
Fortunately, a matching donor was found and now Vera is living life to the fullest and sharing her story to show the lifesaving power of donation. “I thank my heart donor every day for choosing to register and for giving me the greatest gift of all: the gift of life!”
Sam loves doing things any 10-year-old boy loves to do: drawing, fishing and riding his bike. But he cannot do much in his current state of health. Sam needs a lifesaving pancreas, small bowel and liver transplant, so he can go back to being a normal kid again. Sam has a champion in his mom, Mallory, who is fully invested in spreading the message to Donate Life!
“We have Donate Life license plates on our cars and we distribute bracelets and pass out brochures,” said Mallory. “We take part in events at Sam’s school and in the local community, doing anything we can to share the importance of registering as a donor. We are so hopeful that Sam will receive the transplant he needs, and we hope to take a family trip to the beach once that happens!”
Approximately one- half of the U.S. adult population is registered as donors with 4.6 million from the state of North Carolina. Still, the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the number of donor organs. On average, 21 people die each day because the organs they need are not donated in time. Registering your decision to become a donor is the most effective way to ensure that you can save lives through donation. It also serves as sign of hope to those like Sam who continue to wait.
For more information about how to get involved, please call 1-800-200-2672. You can become a donor by registering at your local DMV office or anytime at Register as a Donor.