English - Donate Life America

Frequently Asked Questions, Talking Points and Statistics
What is Donate Life ECHO and why is it important?
Donate Life ECHO, which stands for Every Community Has Opportunity, will be celebrated July
12 - 25, 2015, as a nationwide observance designed to reach multicultural communities. The
new observance has two objectives: one is to focus on the power of sharing one’s personal
decision to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor with members of one’s community; the
second is to encourage registered donors to ask members of their personal networks and
extended communities to talk about organ, eye and tissue donation and register as donors.
Through the ECHO concept of reiteration and repetition—with people sharing the life-affirming
message of donation within their community—more lives will be saved and healed. Multicultural
communities play a critical role in America’s transplant system. They save and heal lives as
donors of organs, eyes and tissue, need lifesaving kidney transplants in disproportionately high
numbers, and serve patients and families as healthcare professionals. For more information,
visit AMAT1.org.
What are the benefits of being an organ, eye and tissue donor?
• Knowing that you can give someone else a chance to live a healthy productive life is the
greatest gift of all.
• A single donor can save or heal the lives of more than 50 people.
• Donation is a consolation to the donor family in knowing that their loved one helped to
save and heal the lives of others.
Is there a cost to the donor?
• There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate.
Am I too old or sick to be a donor?
• Anyone can be a potential donor, regardless of age or medical history.
Does my place of worship support organ, eye and tissue donation?
• All major religions support organ, eye and tissue donation as one of the highest
expressions of compassion and generosity.
Will I be able to have an open casket funeral if I donate?
• An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors.
Why is it important for non-white individuals (these numbers include African
Americans/Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, American Indians, Pacific Islanders and people of
multiracial decent) to become donors?
• Non-white individuals are in great need of more organ and tissue donors with more than
71,000 registered on the U.S. organ transplant waiting list.
Non-whites are disproportionately affected by illnesses, like hypertension and diabetes,
which can lead to end-stage renal disease and the need for dialysis or a kidney
Non-whites comprise nearly 58 percent of individuals on the national organ transplant
waiting list and 32 percent of living and deceased organ donors, while making up 36
percent of the U.S. population.
According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, “successful transplantation often is
enhanced by the matching of organs between members of the same ethnic and racial
How can I become an organ, eye and tissue donor?
• Sign up in your state donor registry. For instructions, visit www.DonateLife.net/registernow and click on your state.
• Always remember: it is important to tell your family members that you have decided to
sign up as a donor so that they will support your decision.
What can I do to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in my community?
• Tell your family and friends about your decision to Donate Life. Ask them to get the facts,
and consider registering as a donor.
• Go to www.DonateLife.net for tips and tools for educating members of your community
about the lifesaving gift of organ, eye and tissue donation.
• Participate in Donate Life ECHO, July 12-25, 2015. Visit DonateLife.net/ECHO for
downloadable tools and implementation ideas.
Multicultural Donation and Transplantation Statistics
Waiting List – Representing 58 percent of people on the U.S. transplant waiting list:
o More than 37,000 of those waiting are African American/Black.
o More than 23,000 of those waiting are Hispanic.
o More than 9,000 of those waiting are Asian and Pacific Islander.
o More than 1,000 of those waiting are American Indian.
Transplants -- Representing 41 percent of people who received organ transplants in
2014, there were:
o 5,945 African American/Black organ transplant recipients.
o 4,208 Hispanic organ transplant recipients.
o 1,641 Asian and Pacific Islander organ transplant recipients.
o 233 American Indian organ transplant recipients.
Donors -- Representing nearly 32 percent of living and deceased organ donors in 2014,
there were:
o 1,948 Hispanic donors.
o 1,943 African American/Black donors.
o 477 Asian and Pacific Islander donors.
o 67 American Indian donors.
General Donation and Transplantation Statistics
More than 29,500 patients began new lives in 2014 thanks to organ transplants (about 81
every day).
Nearly 124,000 people in the U.S. are currently waiting for an organ transplant. More than
1,200 of them are 10 years old or younger.
On average, 150 people are added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list each day—
one every 10 minutes.
Sadly, on average, 21 people die each day because the organs they need are not donated
in time.
A living donor can save a life by donating a kidney or a portion of their liver, lung, pancreas
or intestine.
More than one third of all deceased donors are age 50 or older; more than 7 percent are
age 65 or older.
Each year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1 million tissue
transplants performed each year; the surgical need for tissue steadily is rising.
A single tissue donor can save or heal up to 50 people.
Nearly 50,000 patients have their sight restored through corneal transplants each year.
More than 121 million people, approximately 50 percent of the U.S. adult population, are
registered organ, eye and tissue donors.
A single organ donor can save up to 8 lives.
To register as a lifesaving and healing donor, visit www.DonateLife.net.
Statistics from Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network as of April 20, 2015.