DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – April is National Donate Life Month, and the need is great. More than 123,000 people are currently waiting for life-saving organ transplants in the United States, including more than 3,200 Ohioans.
The national transplant waiting list grows at a rate of one person every 10 minutes, and 22 people die every day because the need for organs far outweighs the supply. One Ohioan dies every other day waiting for an organ transplant.
On the flip side, Kara Steele, the director of community services for Life Connection of Ohio, said more than 29,000 people have their lives saved through organ donation every year, and more than 1 million people benefit from tissue transplants annually.
One person has the power to save eight lives through organ donation and heal 50 more through tissue donation.
For Steele, it’s personal.
“I blame my father in a good way for my career,” she smiled. Her father received a liver transplant. “Thanks to the generosity of an organ donor I’ve been able to have him around for almost 19 years now.”
Local organizations are marking National Donate Life Month. Waffle House is honoring the life and memory of Sarah Rhoads, whose gift of life saved five people. The goal is to encourage people to have the conversation and get more people signed up.
Also, the Live For Luke Foundation here at home is active in spreading awareness. Started by the parents of Luke LaPine in his honor, they’ll be speaking with high school students this month about organ donation.
Steele said Ohio has one of the highest registration rates for organ donation, with about 61-62 percent of all Ohioans registered.
It is easy to register. Click here to learn more.