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Hospital marking National Donate Life Month
Lung transplant patient Sam B. Edwards, heart transplant patient Betty Jo Griner and heart transplant patient Thomas A. Edwards are in the Effingham Hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation department. - photo by Photo provided

In April Effingham Hospital is observing National Donate Life Month in honor of those individuals who have selflessly enrolled in organ donor programs across the U.S. by giving the greatest gift of all — the gift of life.

National Donate Life Month will be observed by Effingham Hospital family and friends on Monday at 6 p.m. in the community room on Effingham Hospital's main medical campus in Springfield.  

April's National Donate Life Month celebration at the hospital will include speakers from LifeLink Foundation, Effingham Hospital and the real-life testimonials of some of Effingham County's own organ recipients and transplant patients in the community.  

Three of these healthy transplant patients are currently enrolled in the cardiac and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programs at Effingham Hospital.  

Every day in April, people across the U.S. make an effort to celebrate the tremendous generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, tissue, marrow and blood donors and to encourage more Americans to follow their example.  

Everyday, about 77 lives are saved thanks to organ donation, but unfortunately 17 to 19 people die each day while waiting for an organ.

In 2008 there are 98,634 patients on the United transplant waiting list while only 30,000 organ transplants are performed each year. They are waiting for someone to give the organs or tissues that could sustain their lives.

When someone takes the opportunity to give an organ or blood they are giving someone else the chance to live. While the decision to be an organ donor is often tougher than that of a blood donor, its impact is just as big. By participating in the organ donor program, many lives can be saved. Children, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters are all on the national organ donor waiting list and need someone’s help to save their lives.

The process of becoming a donor is very simple. All you need to do is register with your State Donor Registry, if available. Say yes to donation on your driver’s license. Tell your family, friends, physician, and faith leader that you want to be a donor. Fill out and sign a donor card, have it witnessed and then be sure to carry it with you.
More than half the people on the waiting list for a donated organ are racial or ethnic minorities. The chances of a patient getting an organ transplant increase if both the donor and the recipient share the same racial/ethnic background.