Organ and tissue transplants offer patients a new chance at a healthy, productive, normal life – kids can fully attend school and participate in extracurricular activities, adults can return to work, school, parenting and taking an active part in their communities.
Organ donation takes healthy organs from one person and transplants them into another. People of all ages and background can be organ donors. Those under age 18 must have permission from parent or guardian to become a donor. Those 18 or older can sign and carry a donor card. All potential organ donors should also let their family know their wishes.
Experts say that the organs from one donor can save or help as many as 50 people. Organs you can donate include:
- Internal organs: Kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs
- Bone and bone marrow
Choosing to restore another person to good health not only positively affects their life but their family and friends’ lives as well. Organ donation is an amazing gift – it is the gift of life.
It’s important to remember that organ donation is a family matter. Thousands of people receive organ transplants every year -- and thousands more anxiously await their turn. Sadly, many never get their chance. Because many designated donors – who thought they took all the necessary steps – didn't tell anyone about their decision. Organs are not donated unless a family member or loved one knows your wishes so consent can be given when the time comes.
The Erma Bombeck Project promotes the benefits of organ and tissue donation and raises awareness about the three most important steps to take:
Decide to be an organ donor.
Share your decision with your family or loved one, who will be contacted in a medical emergency.
Visit DonateLifeAZ.org to register or call (602) 222-2200.