66,000 men, women and children are hoping an organ donation will be made that may give them a chance at a new life or just a few more precious years with those they love. Most of us don't think about living or dying on a daily basis. But, if your only chance for another tomorrow is a new liver, or kidney, or heart, the chance for life and the specter of death are all consuming, hourly thoughts. And all you can do is wait. And hope. Hope that you're not going to be one of thousands who die needlessly every year in the United States because the organs they need have not been donated.
The technology to save these lives already exists. Organ transplantation is performed daily throughout the world. Each week brings a new breakthrough in transplantation technology: the use of recycled organs the development of new anti-rejection drugs promising new research. Today organ transplant surgeries boast a 90+% success rate.
To someone waiting for a life-saving organ, these developments have a hollow ring. That's because the rate of donations has not kept pace with the critical need for lifesaving organs. Today, there are simply not enough donors to meet the growing list of people whose lives could be saved through transplantation. Almost 4,000 people in the United States die needlessly every year because the organs that could save their lives never become available.
The objective of this web site is to increase the awareness of the need for organ donors, to expand to potential organ donor pool through registration and to generate commitment to organ donation through communication.
The greatest obstacle facing organ procurement organizations is that families do not know the wishes of their loved ones. When one of these agencies approaches a bereaved family it is a much more awkward situation if the family has not previously discussed the subject of organ donation. A signed organ donor identification card is a legal document; however, organ donor agencies will not disregard the wishes of the surviving family. Once you make the decision to become a donor, you MUST communicate this decision to your family. No card that you sign or registration that you complete will mean anything if your family says no. The only way your organs may be donated is upon the approval of your family after your death or through a Medical Power of Attorney that you would set up while still living. In other words, when it's all over, your family will be speaking for you - make sure they know what you would want them to say.
85% of people in the United States believe that organ donation is the right thing to do but only 35% donate. Therefore, one can only conclude that the general population is completely unaware of the vast crevasse existing between the number of organs desperately needed and the number available. Please talk to your family about organ donation - your conversation may save a life someday.