April is National Donate Life Month. Here's how you can help

Right now in America, 118,000 people are waiting for an organ. Each day, 22 people die waiting. Another person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.

Many of you have been following the story of 5 On Your Side anchor Anne Allred, who recently received a life-saving kidney donation from one of her lifelong friends after developing Atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome during pregnancy.

Now that Anne is feeling better and back at work, she's using her platform to raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation. And it just so happens that April in National Donate Life Month.

On Wednesday, April 12 at 2 p.m., Anne hosted a Facebook Live event with Dr. Wellen, her surgeon from Barnes-Jewish Hospital, about organ and tissue donation, and what the process was like for her. They answered questions about living organ donation, and Anne told more of her donation story.

On mobile? You can watch this video on Facebook

Anne will also be emceeing the Celebrate Life 5K Run/Walk on April 29 at Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park. The 5K brings together the St. Louis transplant community to honor organ and tissue donors, celebrate new life with recipients, support those waiting for a lifesaving transplant, and inspire others to say “yes” to donation. Visit http://www.midamericatransplant.org/5K to register.

Organ and tissue donation FAQ:

Who can be a donor?
People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.

Does my religion support organ, eye and tissue donation?
Every major religion in the United States supports organ, eye and tissue donation as one of the highest expressions of compassion and generosity.

Is there a cost to be an organ, eye and tissue donor?
There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate for donation. The donor family pays only for medical expenses before death and costs associated with funeral arrangements.

Does donation affect funeral plans?
An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care and respect. Funeral arrangements can continue as planned following donation.

What will happen to my donated organs or tissues?
When someone dies, the local organ procurement organization or tissue bank matches the donor’s organs with people waiting for transplants. Patients who receive your organs will be identified based upon many factors, including blood type, severity of illness, and other medical criteria. Other factors, such as race, gender, age, and income are not considered when determining who receives a transplant.

How do I enroll in the Organ and Tissue Donor Registry?
There are several ways to sign up.
1. You can register online at www.registerme.org
2. iPhone users can register through the health app.
3. You can also sign up when you visit your state motor vehicle and driver license office.
Either way, be sure to tell your family about your decision. If the time comes, they won’t be surprised and they can help carry out your wishes.

Can I remove myself from the registered donors list?
Yes, you can change your donor status at any time. Look for an option such as “updating your status” on your state’s site.

If you have a donor designation on your driver’s license, removing yourself from the registry will not change that. If you have a donor designation on your driver’s license, removing yourself from the registry will not change that. So, unless your state uses a removable sticker on the license to identify donors, you will likely need to change your license at your local motor vehicle and driver license office.

How many people are currently waiting for organs?
The number of patients waiting for organs varies every day, but on average, the number is well over 120,000 and climbing. On average, 22 people die each day while waiting for a transplant.

Resources

Learn more about national organ and tissue donation at https://www.unos.org.

Learn more about local organ and tissue donation at https://www.midamericatransplant.org.

To learn more about transplant services available at Barnes Jewish Hospital, visit http://www.barnesjewish.org/Medical-Services/Transplant.

Sign up to be an organ donor:
- Missouri: www.donatelifemissouri.org
- Illinois: www.lifegoeson.org

© 2017 KSDK-TV


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