Give a second chance at life
Louisiana citizens know that when tragedy strikes, there is still an opportunity to give someone else a second chance at living.
Donate Life Louisiana (DLL) recently received a national award from Donate Life America in recognition of its achievements in increasing the number of registered organ, eye and tissue donors who save and heal lives.
“It is great to be recognized for our registry efforts,” said Kirsten Heintz, Director of Public Relations & Education for Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA). “The true reward is knowing we are honoring the donor’s wishes and helping others receive a second chance at life.”
States receiving medals reached the top tier in at least three of five key categories: 50 percent or more of all state residents age 18 and older registered as donors; 40 percent or more organ donors, eye donors and tissue donors registered at their time of death and a 50 percent or greater Donor Designation rate, which is the rate at which individuals join the registry expressed as a percentage of licensed drivers of ID card holders. Gold medals reflect achievement in all five areas, silver in four areas and bronze in three, all for the year 2011.
DLL ended 2011 with a 56 percent donor designation rate, with 58 percent of 18 or older residents registered, and with 52 percent of organ and tissue donors registered.
“We know as long as there are still people waiting for a lifesaving transplant, our work is not done, and we are already planning efforts to encourage more Louisiana residents to join the registry,” Heintz said.
According to DLL, one organ donor can save up to nine lives and enhance the lives of 50 more through tissue donation. Over 108,000 men, women and children are on the national transplant waiting list. Every 12 minutes another person is added. In Louisiana over 1,800 people are waiting for organ transplants, with 90 percent waiting for kidneys. Nearly 20 people each day die unnecessarily because there are too few organ donors. This adds up to thousands of people per year.
Anyone can potentially be a donor regardless of age, race or medical history. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, poor eyesight or cataracts will not prevent you from being a donor. Let family members know about your decision to become an organ, eye and tissue donor. Only then can they support your decision to give the gift of life.
To register to become an organ donor or to find additional information visit DLL’s website at http://www.donatelifela.org.
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