National Donate Life Month is a nationwide effort during the month of April to bring awareness to the critical need of organ and tissue donations. Donate Life Month was originally a weeklong observance, and it was officially recognized as a month-long event in 2003. Currently, more than 117,000 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list including 715 New Mexicans. A new name is added to the organ waiting list every 10 minutes.
“Donate Life month brings awareness to the critical need for donated organ and tissue as well as honors the individuals who have made the commitment to save lives,” said New Mexico Donor Services Executive Director, Wayne Dunlap. “We ask every New Mexican to make a difference in helping those in need by registering to be a donor on their driver’s license or online at NMdonor.org. One donor can save the lives of up to nine patients in need of an organ transplant, and help up to 50 more patients through tissue donation,” Dunlap added.
Over 110 million people have registered to be donors across the United States, including 1 million New Mexicans. Still, the number of people in need of organ transplants continues to grow faster than the number of organs available. In 2012 there were 28,051 organ transplants performed in the United States, however, 6,500 patients died waiting for transplants and an additional 4,700 became too ill on the waiting list to be transplanted.
Three facts to know about registering to be a donor:
– Registering to be an organ donor will not interfere with any medical care
– Individuals of all ages can register to be donors, even if one has a history of diabetes, hypertension, cancer or any other illness. You are never too old to register.
– There is no cost to the donor or their family to give the gift of life.
To learn more about organ and tissue donation and to register to be a donor call 505-843-7672 or visit www.NMdonor.org