CINCINNATI -- There are currently more than 113,000 American men, women and children waiting to have life-saving organ transplants, with more than 3,000 of those in Ohio and more than 500 in Cincinnati.
April is National Donate Life Month (NDLM), a movement aimed at inspiring Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to commend those who saved lives by donating their organs.
The Christ Hospital Health Network is celebrating the start of NDLM Tuesday with a flag ceremony at the main hospital. The Donate Life flag will be displayed throughout the month of April to recognize the lives saved each year through organ and tissue donation.
Mayor John Cranley proclaimed Tuesday as "Organ and Tissue Donation Day at The Christ Hospital Health Network."
More than 1,600 kidney transplants have been performed at The Christ Hospital since the transplant program began in 1972.
On September 30, 2011, WCPO anchor Tanya O'Rourke donated a kidney at The Christ Hospital to her sister's sister-in-law.
“This was, perhaps, the most fantastic experience of my life, without a doubt,” O’Rourke said. “It was a life-changer.”
After Cincinnati Bengals’ wide-receiver Chris Henry was killed in a crash in 2009, he saved four lives with the donation of his organs.
Donation and transplantation FAQs from Donate Life America:
- 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 my social and/or financial status play any part in whether or not I will receive an organ if I ever need one? No. When you are on the transplant waiting list for a donor organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, body size, tissue type, blood type and other important medical information.
- Why should I register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor? Organ, eye and tissue transplants offer patients a new chance at healthy, productive, and normal lives and return them to their families, friends and communities.