April is National Donate Life Month

WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — April is National Donate Life Month. It’s meant to raise awareness for organ donations.

According to Donate Life America, another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 8 minutes. The need for organ donors is great as even some of the largest stadiums in the country cannot fit the number of patients on the national transplant waiting list.

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Dr. Steven Potter, director of the Pancreas Transplantation, Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute, said the need is “acute and overwhelming.”

“Right now, there are about 100,000 people in this country waiting for an organ transplant and the only way for them to get transplanted is if they find a living donor or get on the list for a deceased donor organ,” Potter said.

According to Donate Life America, an donor’s organs can save up to 8 lives, a cornea helps restore sight to two people, tissue donation would be able to heal the lives of 75 people and 86% of patients are in need of a kidney transplant.

“Being a living kidney donor is a big step,” Potter said. “The surgery is really straightforward and extremely safe, and people are back to their normal lives and back to work very, very quickly after donating a kidney.”

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Dr. Potter said Donate Life Month is important for two reasons.

“One is a chance to get the message out that you can save a life by donating a living donor organ. You should make sure that you’ve given your permission to be. Also, it’s a chance for us to celebrate life, to celebrate the gift of life given by the families of deceased organ donors and living donors throughout the nation that are that are so important to those 100,000 people waiting on the list,” he said.

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