April is National Donate Life Month

My family has been personally impacted by Organ Donation and without it, my youngest son would probably not have survived his genetic disorder. When he was born we didn’t know he had Urea Cycle Disorder – that is something he was diagnosed with at the age of 4. And the reality for us was that left untreated, the outcome is brain damage, coma or death. The fact, he made it to age 4 is pretty much a miracle in itself.

Urea Cycle Disorder

After diagnosis, we started managing the UCD but within a year with all the diet restrictions and medications, it was still unmanageable. This led his doctor to recommend that we consider a liver transplant.

With all the risks involved, it was a no brainer – and within 3 weeks of evaluation he as listed for a liver – and within 6 weeks he received the call. Now, not everyone gets a call that fast – some people are on the transplant list for years.

Our story doesn’t end there though as we’ve experienced a lot of challenges afterward and by 2011 he had three liver transplants. I want to point out that this isn’t the norm and that we are incredibly lucky and blessed – but without organ donation he would not be here. I believe that in every fiber of my being and I will be forever grateful for the families that chose to donate.

It’s a gift that can’t be conveyed into words what it means for a family to receive an organ that another family chose to donate.

And there are many myths around when it comes to donating life, especially when it comes to how it actually works. Here are some facts about organ donation because I’ve observed people sharing false information when it comes to organ donation.

  • Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor. 
  • There’s no age limit to organ donation
  • Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider a donation as the final act of love and generosity toward others. 
  • When you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the one and only priority is to save your life. 
  • A national computer system matches donated organs to recipients. 
  • An open casket funeral is usually possible for organ, eye, and tissue donors. 
  • There is no cost to donors or their families for organ or tissue donation.
  • Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the U.S. 
  • The majority of deceased organ donors are patients who have been declared brain dead. 
  • There is no policy or federal regulation that excludes a member of the LGBT community from donating organs. 

One person can donate up to 8 lifesaving organs.

Sign up to be an organ donor

Sign up to to be an Organ Donor. Signing up on your state registry means that someday you could save lives as a donor—by leaving behind the gift of life.

113,000+Number of men, women and children on the national transplant waiting list as of January 2019. For more Statistical information, visit Organdonor.gov and if you want to find out more about the process, visit this page.

About the author

Petra Monaco is an artist, author, and professional problem solver for creatives, rebels, and multi-passionates.

She is here to help you remove frustration from your life and achieve your creative dreams with more ease and confidence.

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