We give so many gifts to loved ones during a lifetime, but some have much more value than others. The gift of life comes to mind! April is National Donate Life Month, a time to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation. In the U.S. (as of January 2019), 113,000 people (men, women, and children) were on the national transplant waiting list.

Twenty people die each day, waiting for an organ transplant and every 10 minutes another person is added to that long waiting list. The good news is that one organ donor can save 8 lives, as one person can donate up to eight lifesaving organs.

One tissue donor can save or change lives through up to 50 transplants. One eye donor can help to restore sight to several people. Becoming a donor is as easy as registering online, but even if you've registered with your state donor registry or National Donate Life Registry, and indicated your desire to be a donor on your driver's license, you must share your wishes with your family.

As part of Donate Life Month, you're encouraged to visit Donate Life Midwest and register to be a donor. If you are already listed as a donor on your driver's license or state ID card, you don't need to do it online.

You can find many facts and frequently asked questions about organ and tissue donation at the United Network for Organ Donation (UNOS).

Locally, for more information see Sanford Transplant Program and  Avera Transplant Services.

Sources: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, United Network for Organ Sharing, Sanford Transplant Program, and Avera Transplant Services.

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