(ST. JOSEPH) – April is the 10th anniversary of National Donate Life Month, a time to commemorate those who have received or who continue to wait for lifesaving transplants. Lakeland HealthCare seeks to bring more awareness to our community about the continuing need for organ and tissue donors.
“Organ and tissue donations have the potential to save many lives,” said Maureen Bishop, RN, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Lakeland HealthCare. “Registering as a donor and talking about your decision with others are truly heroic actions.“
In 2012, the generosity of Michigan’s 261 organ donors resulted in 779 organs transplanted, saving hundreds of lives. Locally, fifteen eye donations through Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph helped to restore sight to 30 people in Michigan in 2012. There are over 3,000 people in Michigan awaiting a transplant.
“A person’s age or medical condition may not limit their ability to be a donor,” Bishop said. “Organ donations can potentially save up to eight lives. Tissue donations can help up to 50 additional people.”
How to Become an Organ Donor
Community members can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry by completing a registration form at a Secretary of State branch office, by visiting www.giftoflifemichigan.org, or by calling (800) 482-4881.
A representative from Gift of Life Michigan will be available to help community members register as organ donors and answer any questions in the main atrium at the Center for Outpatient Services, St. Joseph, 3900 Hollywood Road, on Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Did You Know?
In October, Lakeland HealthCare received a silver medal from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for success in achieving and sustaining national goals for organ donation.