NEWARK— Feb. 14 is a well-known holiday—Valentine’s Day—and a chance to show appreciation for those you love. Feb. 14 is also another important day—National Donor Day—and it is a chance to show appreciation for life by donating to those in need.
National Donor Day focuses on five points of life you can donate to save lives. These include organs, tissues, marrow, platelets and blood.
According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network—the only national patient waiting list—as of January 2010, there were over 100,000 people in America waiting for a donation. The American Red Cross notes that every two seconds, someone in America needs blood, more than 39,000 units each day. It also states that only three out of every 100 Americans actually give blood.
“The need for donation is great and it is growing,” said Shamkant Mulgaonkar, MD, chief of the Renal and Pancreas Transplant Division at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. “It truly is a gift of life that can benefit so many, and we should keep an open mind to the idea of donation because we never know, one day, we may need that gift ourselves.”
There are several ways to get involved in donation:
• Fill out an organ and tissue donation card and register with your State Donor Registry
• Join the National Registry of potential volunteer marrow and blood stem cell donors
• Learn how you can donate your baby’s umbilical cord blood stem cells at birth
• Donate blood
National Donor Day began in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health organizations.
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