Donate Life’ month raises awareness of organ donation

The Harton Regional Medical Center staff and Denise Fugatt of Tennessee Donor Services (flag right) prepare to raise the Donate Life Flag Thursday morning in celebration of tissue and organ donor month. — Staff Photo by Kelly Lapczynski

STAFF WRITER

kelly lapczynski

 

Harton Regional Medical Center (HRMC) raised the “Donate Life” flag in collaboration with Donate Life Tennessee and Tennessee Donor Services Thursday in honor of National Donate Life Month.

“One in three of us will have a connection to donors by knowing someone who needs or receives a transplant,” said Tennessee Donor Services public relations coordinator Dawn Benjamin.

The Harton Regional Medical Center staff and Denise Fugatt of Tennessee Donor Services (flag right) prepare to raise the Donate Life Flag Thursday morning in celebration of tissue and organ donor month.

— Staff Photo by Kelly Lapczynski

The Donate Life flags across America program honors the generosity of organ and tissue donors and honors the recipients of those donations.

In 2013, 421 Tennesseans made organ and tissue donations, saving 796 lives; but the need far exceeds the number of donors, according to organizers.

Currently, there are more than 120,000 people in the United States waiting for organ transplants, with more than 2,600 of them living in Tennessee.

According to HRMC, every 18 minutes a patient on the waiting list will die, and every 10 minutes a new name is added.

Through organ and tissue donation, one person can potentially save up to 50 lives.

Signing up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor is easy. Nearly 2 million Tennesseans have signed up on the Donate Life Tennessee Organ and Tissue Donor Registry by checking “yes” when applying for or renewing a driver’s license or registering online at www.donatelifetn.org.

Donate Life Tennessee is a non-profit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by the state’s two organ procurement organizations: Tennessee Donor Services and Mid-South Transplant Foundation.

All personal information is kept confidential.

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