With more than 112,000 people nationwide waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, including nearly 2,000 people in Maryland, the need for designated organ, eye and tissue donors has reached an all-time high. And sadly, on average 18 people on that national waiting list die every day due to the lack of available organs for transplant.
To help bring awareness to this growing healthcare crisis, Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) has partnered with The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland (LLF) to provide employees and members of our community information about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. AAMC has enjoyed a strong relationship for many years with The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland, a federally designated organ procurement organization dedicated to saving lives by facilitating the process of organ and tissue donation, recovery and transplantation.
AAMC has a multidisciplinary organ donation council whose members include physicians, nursing staff and employees from across the hospital. In 2011, AAMC facilitated three successful organ donations resulting in 11 lives saves, while many more tissue, bone and cornea donations were retrieved from registered donors.
During National Donate Life Month, The Living Legacy Foundation urges health care professionals, volunteers, educators, community groups, private organizations and the public at large to make a special effort to celebrate the tremendous generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, eye and tissue donors and to raise awareness for the urgent need for life-saving organs and tissue.
“Last year, the national waiting list reached more than 112,000 people and the gap between those who are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and registered designated donors keeps widening every year,” said Charlie Alexander, president and CEO of The Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland. “One of our goals is to provide advocacy and comprehensive public and professional education to help increase the number of designated organ donors throughout the state.”
“National Donate Life Month is an opportunity to publicly recognize the profound generosity of donors and their families who have offered the gift of life to others while experiencing a personal loss of a loved one,” said Michelle Donovan, Coordinator for Organ Donation, AAMC. “We are proud of the gifts of life to others that have been achieved through our support and commitment to organ and tissue donation.”
Additionally, this year, Donate Life America, the national organization promoting organ, eye and tissue donation, launched a bold new initiative to register 20 million people in 2012 on their state donor registries. “With the majority of individuals in the United States wishing to be organ, eye and tissue donors, the biggest challenge to meeting our goal of 20 million will be getting people to take action and register today as an organ, eye and tissue donors,” said David Fleming, President and CEO of Donate Life America.
AAMC is committed to helping reduce the number of people waiting for a life-saving transplant by providing our employees with information about donation and transplantation. This will allow everyone to make an educated decision about becoming a designated organ and tissue donor. For more information on organ, eye and tissue donation please visit the Donate Life Maryland website at www.donatelifemaryland.org or call 866-MD-DONOR.