Organ donor advocates across the state are once again coming together to celebrate National Donate Life Month, which takes places every April and raises awareness about and celebrates the power of organ, eye and tissue donation. LiveOnNY, a federally designated nonprofit organization that facilities organ donation in the greater New York City area, and its partners will host and participate in more than 100 events across the region in celebration of Donate Life Month.
“Importantly, Donate Life Month is an opportunity to come together and celebrate those who have given the gift of life so that others may live on,” said Helen Irving, president and CEO of LiveOnNY. “It is also a chance to rally around the 10,000 New Yorkers currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and to raise awareness about the need for more registered organ donors in New York. More than 90 percent of New Yorkers support organ donation, but only 32 percent are registered.”
Donate Life Month will build on the successes of 2017, which lead to the New York state organ donor registry climbing to over five million registrants. This means there are more New Yorkers registered as organ donors than there are residents in most states. Thanks to several factors, the number of New Yorkers registered as organ donors has doubled since 2012. These include new ways to register, such as through the New York state health insurance marketplace, the launch of an improved online registry and the roll out of a law allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to register, which later included launching a new high school unit of study to educate teens.
“In 2017 we saw incredible growth on the organ donor registry, and most importantly, in lives saved in New York by organ donation and transplantation,” said Irving. “Donate Life Month brings another opportunity to educate and inspire New Yorkers about the lifesaving power of this cause.”
Donate Life Month 2018 will include a variety of events taking place across the five boroughs, on Long Island and in the lower Hudson Valley. The events will include raising flags, press conferences, enrollment drives, 5K races and community meetings. Also, several area high schools will be holding “I Can’t, But I Can” events, which are designed to provide teens with the facts about organ donation and transplantation.
Beginning this year, New York will close Donate Life Month with a moment of gratitude. The moment of gratitude asks New Yorkers to pause at 3 p.m. on April 30, to pay tribute to the thousands of selfless donors. LiveOnNY hopes that hospitals, transplant centers, organ donation advocates and others across the area will join in to recognize these lifesaving heroes. LiveOnNY will live stream its moment of gratitude gathering via Facebook Live.
To learn more about organ donation and to register as an organ donor, please visit www.liveonny.org.