UAB Medicine News


Events Planned for National Donate Life Month in April

Donate Life Month

Through a month-long series of events and promotions, Legacy of Hope (formerly the Alabama Organ Center) recognizes National Donate Life Month, an annual event established by Donate Life America to raise awareness about organ donation.

The promotion showcases the various perspectives of families and individuals touched by organ donation and transplantation. Donate Life America and Legacy of Hope (LOH) focus state and national attention on how every individual has the potential to give the gift of life by registering their decision to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor and by considering being a living donor.

A main feature of the National Donate Life Month (NDLM) awareness program is National Blue and Green Day, which will be celebrated on Friday, April 12. LOH encourages supporters, especially on the UAB campus and around the state, to wear blue and green that day. The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital fountain will again flow green, and many iconic landmarks across the state will be decorated or enhanced at night with special blue and/or green lighting during the weekend of April 12. Participants will include Children’s of Alabama, the RSA Tower in Montgomery, the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel, the Vestavia Hills Southern Gateway and Sibyl Temple, and the iconic “Birmingham” sign at Regions Field.

Donate Life America also develops a theme and art design for NDLM each year to illustrate the power of donation. For 2019, bicycles are the inspiration for the new theme, “Life Is a Beautiful Ride.” Like the donation and transplantation journey, a bicycle serves as a symbol of progress, renewal, and the moving circle of life.

Desperate Need for Organs

Nationally, 36,768 organ transplants were performed in 2018 using organs from both deceased and living donors. That number, a 5% increase over 2017, marks the sixth consecutive record-setting year for transplants in the United States. Approximately 81% involved organs from deceased donors. Living-donor transplants accounted for the remaining 19%. The number of living-donor transplants represented the highest total since 2005 and increased nearly 11% over 2017. 

Unfortunately, the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the number of organs donated. Currently, 58% of the U.S. adult population is registered as organ, eye, and tissue donors. About 114,000 people are waiting for a transplant, and, on average, 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not donated in time. Despite those numbers, it is still encouraging to note that one organ donor can save eight lives, and one tissue donor can save or enhance the lives of 100 people.

Also of note this year is the new name for the Alabama Organ Center. Chris Meeks, executive director, says the nonprofit’s leadership sees Legacy of Hope as a better reflection of the organization’s spirit and purpose.

“Since our founding in 1979, we’ve had a dedicated purpose,” Meeks says. “We provide comfort to families with an opportunity for their loved ones’ legacy to live on through the lives of others. And through their generosity, we extend hope to those waiting for the precious gift of life. Our new name is more in line with that goal.”

LOH is the federally designated, nonprofit, organ procurement organization for the state of Alabama. It coordinates organ and tissue donation for transplantation and research, working with health care and community partners to support donor families, facilitate donation, and provide community education to empower people to become organ and tissue donors.

List of National Donate Life Month Events:

  • UAB Softball Donate Life Night
    Wednesday, March 27 at 5 pm
    Mary Bowers Field
  • Celebration of Life Picnic
    Saturday, April 6, 11 am - 2 pm
    UAB Mini Park, University Boulevard
    Parking is available in the parking deck on 13th Street South and on the street. This free event is full of fun, food and fellowship. Lunch is provided. Please pre-register so we can plan accordingly.
  • National Donate Life Blue & Green Day
    Friday, April 12
    Please wear blue and green on this day to help raise awareness of the need for organ donation.

Click here to learn more about Legacy of Hope or to register as an organ, eye, and tissue donor.