National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Celebrated in April each year, NDLM features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.
For the 2018 National Donate Life Month artwork, Donate Life America was inspired by the image of a rainbow and Maya Angelou’s quote, “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
Often following a storm, the presence of a rainbow provides optimism and motivates us to endure through dark times. Similarly, organ, eye and tissue donation is the bridge of comfort and hope between one family’s mourning and another’s healing — turning tragedy into renewed life. The vibrant Donate Life rainbow in the National Donate Life Month artwork rises from stormy clouds, recognizing that it takes both rain and light to create the gift of a rainbow.
Maya Angelou’s message applies to all of us, no matter our background or experiences. We all know rainbows — people that have helped carry us through life and its challenges. In turn, we may also have the opportunity to be rainbows in other people’s clouds through the gift of organ, eye and tissue donation. This April, we encourage you to reflect on the lives of those touched by donation and transplantation, and to share its prismatic effect. By registering to be a donor or considering living donation, you can change one ray of light into a spectrum of healing and compassion.
We wish you a Happy National Donate Life Month. Thank you for your efforts in educating about the cause of donation and the importance of registering your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor!
Maya Angelou™ is a trademark licensed by Caged Bird Legacy, LLC.
National Donate Life Month – April 2018 Donation and Transplantation Statistics
• In 2016, more than 33,600 transplants brought renewed life to patients and their families and communities (from 9,900 deceased and 5,900 living donors).
• More than 116,000 men, women and children await lifesaving organ transplants. • About 58% of patients awaiting lifesaving transplants are minorities.
• Another person is added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes. • Sadly, 8,000 people die each year (22 people each day — almost one person each hour) because the organs they need are not donated in time.
• 80% of patients on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney. The average waiting time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years. A kidney from a living donor offers patients an alternative to years of dialysis and time on the national transplant waiting list (the living donor’s remaining kidney will enlarge, doing the work of two healthy kidneys).
• 12% of patients waiting are in need of a liver. Living donation of part of the liver can help these patients (the remaining portion of the donor liver will regenerate and regain full function).
• Nearly one-third of all deceased donors are age 50 or older; more than 7% are age 65 or older.
• Each year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1.75 million tissue transplants; the surgical need for donated tissue is steadily rising. • A single tissue donor can help more than 75 people.
• 48,000 patients have their sight restored through corneal transplants each year. • More than 138 million people, approximately 56% of the U.S. adult population, are registered organ, eye and tissue donors.* • To register your decision to save and heal lives, visit RegisterMe.org. To learn more about organ, eye, tissue and living donation, visit DonateLife.net. * Living donation is not included in a donor registration. Data from the Donate Life America Quarterly Donor Designation Report and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of January 1, 2018.