(RELEASE) - Right now, nearly 2,000 people in our community are waiting for a lifesaving transplant. Organ donation and the need for transplantable organs is an ongoing public health crisis, and the waitlist just can’t wait, even as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we are asked to stay home, there are actions you can take to continue to help your community and take charge of your health. To start, you can visit DonateLifeColorado.org and sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. It’s a simple and free step Coloradans can take to positively contribute to public health. Signing up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor means you have made the decision to donate your organs, eyes and tissues at the time of your death.
While you’re looking for ways to fill your time, take the opportunity to do something that many people put off: discuss organ, eye and tissue donation and other end-of-life decisions with your family.
It’s not always easy, but making these decisions for yourself in advance and talking it through with your loved ones can make it easier for your family during a difficult time. It will help them feel confident and prepared when they are presented with information about the donation process.
To best inform your discussion, be sure to get the facts on organ, eye and tissue donation:
•Anyone of any age or with any kind of medical history can choose to sign up to save lives through donation. Even people with chronic medical conditions and infectious diseases may be able to donate, like these local organ donors.
•Your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor will not interfere with your medical care. This is one of the many myths around organ donation, but the fact is, the doctors and nurses caring for you before death are not involved in the donation process.
• Donation doesn’t cost you or your family anything, but you can save and heal up to eight lives through organ donation and more than 75 through tissue donation.
This pandemic has helped us reset our priorities, and put the importance of family and community into perspective. As you reflect on what really matters, please take a few minutes with your family to let them know you’d like to help others and leave a legacy after your death as an organ, eye and tissue donor.
Check out these tips on how to speak with your kids about signing up to become a donor and information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Organ Donation and Transplantation. Additionally, you can sign up to become a donor by saying Yes at the Driver License Office or online at DonateLifeColorado.org anytime.