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Abby Johnson, Detroit Lakes, Minn., Published December 07 2013

Letter: Save lives by becoming an organ transplant donor

There are in the United States 120,949 people awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant. In 2012, there were just over 28,000 of these transplants done in the nation. That means each day there are 75 solid organ transplants done.

Despite this seemingly large number performed daily, up to 20 people die each day waiting for a transplant. The No. 1 reason behind this is that there are simply not enough people signed up to be donors to fulfill the needs of those who are on the waiting lists. Donation is something positive that can come from the death of a loved one. One person can save and heal up to 60 people through organ, eye and tissue donation.

Many people are either uninformed or misinformed of how the organ donation process works. Here are a few simple facts that are available on Donate Life’s website.

E People of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. Your medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.

E Organs and tissues that can be donated include: heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, corneas, skin, tendons, bone, and heart valves.

E There is no national registry of organ donors. Even if you have indicated your wishes on your driver’s license or a donor card, be sure you have told your family as they will be consulted before donation can take place.

E All major religions approve of organ and tissue donation and consider donation the greatest gift.

E An open-casket funeral is possible for organ and tissue donors.

Help save a life today. Recycle yourself. Become an organ and tissue donor. For more information regarding organ and tissue donation, please visit www.

organdonor.gov, www.life-source.org, or www.donatelifemidwest.org or by calling (888) 5-DONATE.

If you don’t find these sites helpful, contact your local clinic, hospital, driver vehicle service center, or local law enforcement for further information regarding the importance of becoming an organ and/or tissue donor.