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Serious Medicine. Extraordinary Care.

Paying Tribute to Organ Donors during National Donate Life Month

April is National Donate Life Month

Month to Pay Tribute to Organ Donors and to Encourage Others to Follow Their Example

They make an incredible decision at one of the darkest moments in their lives. The families of organ donors offer the gift of life to complete strangers. April is National Donate Life Month, a month to honor this most selfless sacrifice and to encourage others to become organ donors.

Anthony Ochoa had made his wishes known to his family just a month before his death, shares his mother, June Ochoa of Omaha. "We were very thankful that Anthony told us about his wish to be an organ donor," said June. "It made the decision to donate his organs much easier when we learned of his sudden death."

Anthony was only 19 when he was involved in a terrible accident in May 2009. He fell 30 feet and sustained major head trauma.

June says she has received letters from the recipients of Anthony's organs and finds the letters very comforting. "We've learned about a grandfather having the opportunity to watch his grandchildren grow up," said June. "And we've heard stories from a mother who is now able to be active with her four children. Anthony would have really liked knowing he helped someone."

Steps to Becoming an Organ & Tissue Donor

  1. Make the commitment
  2. Join the donor registry one of three ways:
    • Mark "YES" to Organ and Tissue Donation when applying for a driver's license
    • Register online at www.nedonation.org or www.iowadonorregistry.org
    • Call Nebraska Organ Recovery System at 402-733-1800 and request a donor registration card
  3. Make it known - tell your family and friends that you want to be a donor

The Need for Organ Donation is Great & Growing

  • The number of people waiting for a transplant in the United States is rapidly approaching 100,000
  • Each day, about 77 people get the organ transplant that gives them a second chance, but 17 to 19 others die because they did not receive an organ transplant
  • Deceased donors can save or enhance the lives of up to 50 people through organ and tissue donation
  • A number of factors are considered in organ matching and allocation: blood type and size of organ; time spent awaiting a transplant; as well as distance between donor and recipient. For certain organs, other factors are critical such as the medical urgency of the recipient, the degree of immune-system match between donor and recipient and whether the recipient is a child or adult