Observed every year on February 14th, National Donor Day is an observance dedicated to spreading awareness and education about organ, eye and tissue donation. By educating and sharing the Donate Life message, small steps are taken every day to help save and heal more lives, and honor the donor’s legacy of generosity and compassion. National Donor Day is a time to focus on all types of donation—organ, eye, tissue, blood, platelets and marrow.
National Donor Day is also a day to recognize those who have given and received the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation, are currently waiting for a lifesaving transplant, and those who died waiting because an organ was not donated in time.
Deceased organ, eye or tissue donation is the process of giving an organ (or a part of an organ), eye, or tissue at the time of the donor’s death, for the purpose of transplantation to another person. At the end of your life, you can give life to others.
Living donation offers another choice for transplant candidates, and it saves two lives: the recipient and the next one on the deceased organ waiting list. Even better, kidney and liver patients who are able to receive a living donor transplant can receive the best quality organ much sooner, often in less than a year.
Vascularized Composite Allografts (VCA)
Vascularized Composite Allografts (VCAs) involve the transplantation of multiple structures that may include skin, bone, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. The most commonly known type of VCAs are for hand and face transplants.
Pediatric transplants differ slightly from other organ donations — as organ size is critical to a successful transplant, children often respond better to child-sized organs. There are currently 2,000 children under the age of 18 waiting for a variety of organs, and nearly 25% of them are under 5 years old.
How can I get involved?
To learn more about organ donation and how you can get involved, contact Donate Life America. Explore more things you can do to support Donate Life America and advocate for organ, eye and tissue donation every day of the year.
(Information for this blog was provided by Donate Life America.)