Emily Rice Published

April Is National Donate Life Month

Two hands reach for each other. One hand offers a cartoon heart-shaped ball. Two doctors appear out of focus in the background and are dressed as if operating on a patient.vchalup/Adobe Stock

Celebrated in April, National Donate Life Month encourages organ donation awareness.

Mon Health System and the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) will host ceremonial flag raising services across the region to support organ donation and honor organ donors and their families.

Michelle Stanton, director of quality at Mon Health Preston Memorial Hospital, said an organ donor can save as many as eight lives. 

“Our physicians, our nurses and staff, realize the positive impact that organ donation can have on both recipients as well as donor families,” Stanton said. “And participating as an organ donor is one of the greatest gifts a person could potentially give to a patient on a transplant waiting list.”

On average, 11,000 people die each day who are considered medically suitable to donate and don’t. About every 10 minutes, someone new is added to the national transplant waiting list.

According to Stanton, organs that can be donated include kidneys, hearts, livers, lungs, pancreas and small intestines. She also noted the importance of tissue donation like heart valves.

“You know, there are living donors also,” Stanton said. “We know folks who have graciously given a kidney to somebody who’s been in need. Living donors can give kidneys or portions of their liver, lungs or small intestine or pancreas to someone in need.”

Hospitals across the U.S. fly the “Donate Life” flag in April to signal their support of donation, to serve as a display of unity, remembrance, and hope, and to honor those touched by donation and transplantation.

To learn more about becoming an organ donor, visit core.org.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.