Many of us celebrate February 14th as Valentine’s Day and give cards, candy and flowers to loved ones. But did you know that February 14 is also observed as National Donor Day – a day where you can give the gift of life to someone by signing to become the donor of organs and tissues?
There were over 109,000 people in the United States on a waiting list for organ transplant and every 12 minutes, a new name is added to the waiting list. Approximately 3400 of these 109,000 individuals reside in North Carolina.
Each day 74 people receive an organ, but 18 people also die each day waiting for transplants that won’t happen because there is a shortage of organs.
You can make a difference by signing to become a donor!
Organ, eye and tissue transplantation gives hope to thousands of people suffering from organ failure, blindness, bone defects or burns.
One organ donor can save up to eight lives.
One tissue donor can save or improve the quality of life for up to 50 people.
In addition, take the time to become a blood donor. Every two seconds someone in America needs blood, more than 39,000 units each day, according to the American Red Cross. Each unit of blood can be divided into three blood products that can be used to help save as many as three lives. 95% of us will receive a blood product by the age of 72. Only 5% of the eligible population donates.
There are three easy ways to register as an organ donor in North Carolina:
Declare you wish on your driver’s license. A heart symbol will be placed on your driver’s license at the DMV. This heart symbol represents legal consent for organ and eye donation – not just the intent to donate. Your name is entered into the donor registry and next of kin cannot change your donor decision.
2nd, you can join the NC State Registry online at http://www.donatelifenec.org/ If you join via this State Registry you can donate tissue in addition to organs and eyes. It is more specific and will supersede your DMV record.
and 3rd, you can complete a paper enrollment form and return it to Donate Life North Carolina