Currently, there are more than 112,000 patients on the national organ transplant waiting list. These candidates often endure difficult yet necessary life-sustaining treatments while waiting for potential organ matches. Nineteen people die every day while waiting, and those that are eventually transplanted can endure wait times that can extend anywhere from 5-9 years.
The need for life-saving organ transplants was recently highlighted when New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady shared his friend and long-time coach is in need of a kidney transplant. The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations applauds Brady for the attention he has brought to living donation specifically and to all organ and tissue donation in general.
Organ procurement organizations (OPOs) are the national stewards of the precious gift of life. During 2011 the 58 federally designated OPOs helped more than 8,000 deceased donors and their families give the gift of organ donation. Several OPOs, in collaboration with their local transplant centers also have programs that support and facilitate living organ donation.
The most effective way to save lives through organ donation is by registering your personal decision through your state designated donor registry. Each state has a Uniform Anatomical Gift law that protects and facilitates deceased donation. For more information about donation or how to become a designated donor in your state, please visit Donate Life America at http://donatelife.net.