Jefferson Community Health & Life recognizes Organ Donation Month in April. Donate Life Month is a national observance to share the importance of registering to be a donor, honor deceased and living donors and recognize the lifesaving and healing gift of transplantation.
JCH&L flew the organ donation flag on Wednesday, April 8, along with other individuals and businesses. On Thursday, April 16, staff are invited to wear blue and green to raise awareness for organ donation, and for a donation of $5 to Live on Nebraska, staff can also wear their denim to work that day. Live on Nebraska is a conduit for transplantation, partnering with hospitals in Nebraska and Pottawattamie County, Iowa to facilitate the recovery of organs and tissues from those who choose to donate life.
JCH&L works with Live on Nebraska for potential organ, tissue and eye donation. In 2019, JCH&L referred 8 eligible tissue donors and 2 eligible eye donors. There we no eligible organ donors referred in 2019.
“The impact one donor can have is incredible,” said Kyle Herber, President & CEO of Live On Nebraska. “Donate Life Month gives us the opportunity to celebrate the heroes that have already given the gift of life and to educate others on how they can make a difference through donation.”
Every individual has the potential to save and heal 100 people with the donation of organs and tissues. These include the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas, small intestine, corneas, bone, skin, tendons, veins and heart valves.
Governor Pete Ricketts has declared April as Donate Life Month in Nebraska. The governor’s proclamation recognizes the 900 Nebraska donor heroes who gave the gift of life in 2019, a record number for our state. The proclamation also acknowledges the 400 people in Nebraska and more than 110,00 throughout the Unites States who are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant.
Of the 400 people waiting for a transplant in Nebraska, the majority are waiting for a kidney (234) or liver (124). Twelve are under the age of 18. Minority populations account for 23% of Nebraska’s waiting list.
An outdoor display on the lawn of Live On Nebraska’s office in Omaha is dedicated to those on the waiting list. Four hundred green and blue flags represent each person who is waiting for a second chance at life.
Nebraskans are also encouraged to register as donors this month. Anyone age 16 or older can register as an organ and tissue donor. Age, health and lifestyle do not limit an individual’s ability to register. Donor registration is available online anytime at LiveOnNebraska.org.
Individuals can also consider living donation. Living donors most often provide a kidney or a portion of their liver to those in need of a transplant. Living donation is not included in donor registration online or at the DMV. To be considered for living donation, contact Nebraska Medicine.