National Kidney Foundation Challenges Americans

New York, NY (February 22, 2003) - In an effort to ease the desperate organ shortage in the United States, the National Kidney Foundation has issued a challenge to all Americans to sign organ donor cards during National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, April 16-23, 2000.

More than 65,000 Americans - men, women and children - are currently awaiting transplants of life-saving organs, and the list grows longer every hour of every day. Each month approximately 2,000 new patients are added to the waiting list.

"Our goal this week is to educate everyone about the life-saving power of organ donation and dispel the myths and misconceptions that prevent people from signing donor cards," says Fred Herbert, chairman of the National Kidney Foundation.

Contrary to popular belief, most religions consider organ donation the ultimate charitable gift and families are not asked to consider organ donation until all attempts to save someone's life have been exhausted.

To participate in the challenge, simply call the National Kidney Foundation at (800)622-9010 and request a free donor card. "Don't forget to discuss that choice with your families," emphasizes Herbert, "since family consent is still necessary at the time of donation."

Thirteen or fourteen people die each day while waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. The National Kidney Foundation is committed to the goal of ensuring that every American who needs a transplant receives one.