By: Mary K. Wakefield, PhD, RN, Administrator, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
As we share our hearts with loved-ones this Valentine’s Day, we also can show our heart for others as part of National Donor Day, which takes place on February 14th as well. National Donor Day is a celebration of what organ, eye, and tissue donors make possible with their gift of life. You can participate by signing up to become a donor and sharing the lifesaving message of organ, eye, and tissue donation. Visit organdonor.gov to get started.
Since 1995, more than 443,000 people have received a second chance at life made possible by an organ donor.
For Carlee, a 15 year-old two-time heart transplant recipient, “Nothing’s impossible.” With a smile she dances, plays tennis, and learns to drive—she lives life to the fullest. “When I step out on stage, I think that I'm communicating with people,” she says. “Yes, you can have two heart transplants, but you can do whatever you want to do, or be who you want to be.”
Carlee is one of the approximate 28,000 people in America who receive a second chance at life through organ donation each year. Most go on to live healthy, productive lives because of their transplant and the immunosuppressive medications that allow their bodies to accept a donor organ. These transplants would not be possible if it were not for donors who make a commitment to help others—either after their death or by donating while still living. But even with their help, 21 people die each day because there are not enough organs available for the 124,000 people waiting.
If you haven't signed up as an organ, eye, and tissue donor, it’s easy to get started at organdonor.gov. Those already registered as a donor can also help spread the message of donation. February 14 is a great day to get involved.
And be sure to join more than 184,000 others who have liked our page at facebook.com/organdonor.gov. Sharing our posts and videos is a quick and easy way to do something that might help others like Carlee get a second chance at life.