By: Mark and Carol Fairall
April 18, 2014
To: DAILY NEWS SUN - SUN CITY WEST NEWSPAPER
APRIL IS NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH
National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was instituted in 2003 and is celebrated every April. The NDLM has many state and national activities in April to register organ donors that can give the “GIFT OF LIFE.” The Donate Life Flag is flown in April over hospitals, transplant centers, and all recovery agencies in order to make a visible and unified statement about the importance of organ donations and to show the dire need for organ donors.
On March 31, 2014 President Barack Obama issued the Presidential Proclamation stating: “I call upon health care professionals, volunteers, educators, government agencies. Faith-based and community groups, and private organizations to join forces to boost the number of organ and tissue donors throughout our Nation.” President Obama also stated that more than 120,000 Americans are on the transplant list but 18 of them die every day waiting. Every donor can save eight lives thanks to scientific advances. Lastly, the President urged the Public visit www.organdonor.gov or sign up in your State’s donor registry. The President stated: “As a Nation, let us shine a light on the power of donation. Let us lift up the friends and families of donors and remember those who ensured that in their death, others received life.”
Some organ donation facts from DONATE LIFE AMERICA are:
1. An average of 79 organ transplants take place every day in the United States
2. Over 46,000 patients had their sight restored last year through corneal transplants.
3. A living donor can provide a kidney or a portion of their liver, lung, pancreas or intestine.
4. More than a million tissue transplants are performed every year and the need is rising.
5. As of June 2013, over 112 million people (46%) of the US adult population are registered as organ donors.
6. Every major religion in the United States supports organ donations as the highest expression of generosity and compassion.
7. There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for organ donations.
DONATE LIFE AMERICA is a non-profit organization which can be found online at www.donatelife.net .
Recent statistics from the USA TODAY show that Arizona is ranked the third lowest organ donor state in the nation at 17.2%. The top organ donors’ states are: Colorado – 64.4%, Iowa – 62.8%, Montana 62.4%, Washington – 56.7%, and Wyoming – 55.4%. The worst organ donors’ states are: New York – 11.1%, Michigan – 12.7%, Arizona – 17.2%, California – 25.5%, and Kentucky – 25.9%. It is difficult to get an organ transplant in Arizona because the supply of organs are so low.
Last year we attended the DONATE LIFE EVENT at the Arizona State Capitol. We had the honor to meet the “THANKSGIVING MOM” and listened to her story of love. Her only daughter had died in an automobile accident and her organs were used to save the lives of six people. Those six transplant recipients celebrate Thanksgiving with her every year honoring her daughter for giving them the “Gift of Life.” The Thanksgiving mom stated that she knows her daughter is in Heaven but she is so blessed because she feels her presence every Thanksgiving when the people her daughter saved celebrate the holiday together.
Organ donation is a subject near and dear to our hearts since Carol received her transplanted liver in October, 2007 at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital. Carol is very active mentoring organ donors and raising awareness and funds for this worthwhile cause. We urge all Arizonans’ to mark the Organ Donor box on their Driver’s License and share life.
Mark and Carol Fairall
Founders of THE REAL FACES OF ELDER ABUSE
Mark and Carol live in Sun City West. They are active in the community by volunteer teaching classes in the West Valley about Arizona Travel and Elder Abuse Prevention. The Fairalls also write columns and newspaper articles about elder abuse information and prevention.