It’s difficult to overstate the importance and impact organ donation can have on people’s lives.
More than 120,000 people in the United States are currently on the waiting list for a potentially lifesaving donation, and more than 21 people die each day before getting a match.
And yet one person’s donation can make all the difference, saving or enhancing the lives of up to eight people via improving eyesight, replacing damaged tissue or repairing vital functions.
The importance of organ donation is why South Carolina hospitals celebrate Donate Life month each April, acknowledging and honoring the generosity of past donations while also raising awareness and advocating for South Carolinians to register as possible donors. Many of these efforts are done in partnership with We Are Sharing Hope SC, South Carolina’s only organ procurement organization.
Efforts during this month include educating communities and hospital staff about the impact that one “yes” can make. Hospitals are often encouraged to make simple gestures of honor, like raising a flag when a hospital has a donor—as hospitals like Spartanburg Regional, AnMed Health and Pelham Medical Center have recently done—and including information in newsletters and participating in campaigns like the federal Health Resources and Services’ campaign Let Life Bloom.
As a reminder, registering as an organ donor in South Carolina is quick and easy. Individuals can register on this website or by obtaining, renewing or changing their SC driver’s license/ID at any SCDMV office. When registering through the SCDMV, a new logo representing legal consent will be placed on an individual’s license/ID. It is a heart and “Y” surrounded by a circle with 11 “ticks” in it. This represents the fact that nationally every 11 minutes another person is added to the transplant waiting list.
For more information on Donate Life SC, click here.