MORGANTOWN — April is National Donate Life Month, a time to applaud the generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, eye, tissue, marrow, and blood donors. It is a time to thank the families who have made the decision to donate. It is also an opportunity to encourage more to follow their example and educate themselves about the importance of donation.
The Hospitals of Mon Health recognize the meaning of donation and the life-saving difference it makes with awareness events throughout the month. On Friday, April 23 at noon, there will be a flag raising event at each of the Mon Health Hospitals – Mon Health Medical Center, Mon Health Preston Memorial Hospital, and Mon Health Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital. The flags are provided by CORE – the Center for Organ Replacement & Education. CORE coordinates the recovery and matching of organs, tissues and corneas for transplant in this region.
With education, CORE and Mon Health encourage the public to learn more about organ donation and the gift of life it provides.
In West Virginia, more than 500 people are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Thousands more need a tissue or cornea transplant. At the same time, only about 35 percent of West Virginians are signed up to be donors. One person can save the lives of as many as eight people. One individual can improve the lives of as many as 75 people through tissue donation.
In 2020, more than 39,000 life-saving or life-enhancing organ transplants were performed in the United States from both living and deceased donors. Unfortunately, over 110,000 people across the nation were still waiting for a life-saving transplant.
Some may have questions about donating. For example, organ donation is only possible after all lifesaving measures have been taken. Most major religions support organ, tissue, and cornea donation, viewing it as the greatest gift and a final act of charity. Any person of any age or with a medical condition can be considered as an organ, cornea, and tissue donor. At the time of death, medical professionals will determine whether a person can donate. Donor families do not pay for the costs of donation.
By collaborating with CORE, the Hospitals of the Mon Health System provide hope for recipients, and making a difference every day in patients’ lives. To find out more about donating life or to register as an organ donor, visit www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.