Many people who need transplants of organs and tissues cannot get them because of a shortage of donations. Of the 118,000 Americans currently on the waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant, more than 96,000 need a kidney, but fewer than 17,000 people receive one each year. Every day 13 people die waiting for a kidney. Organ and tissue donation helps others by giving them a second chance at life.
Identifying yourself as an organ and/or tissue donor is simple. Simply visit the Donate Life America website and choose your state of residence to join your state's online registry for donation. You can also declare your intentions on your driver's license.
Signing up online through your state registry or on your driver's license is a good first step in designating your wishes about donation, but letting your family or other loved one's know about your decision is vitally important. Family members are often asked to give consent for a loved one's donation, so it's important that they know your wishes.
You can also consider being a living kidney donor. Living donation takes place when a living person donates an organ or part of an organ to someone in need of a transplant. The donor is most often a close family member, such as a parent, child, brother or sister. A donor can also be a more distant family member, spouse, friend or co-worker. Non-directed donors - those who donate anonymously and do not know their recipients - are also becoming more common. Click here to learn more about living kidney donation.
Religion and Organ Donation
Virtually all religious denominations approve of organ and tissue donation as representing the highest humanitarian ideals and the ultimate charitable act. Click here for more on religion and donation.
For more information, visit the A to Z Guide.