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The Alabama Organ Center Celebrates National Donate Life Month

Through a month-long series of events and promotions, the Alabama Organ Center (AOC) recognizes National Donate Life Month (NDLM), 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 donation and transplantation. Donate Life America and the AOC focus state and national attention on how every individual has the potential to make life possible by registering their decision to be an organ, eye, and tissue donor and by considering being a living donor.

A main feature of the awareness program is National Blue and Green Day, which will be celebrated on Friday, April 13. Supporters are encouraged to wear blue and green that day. The Kirklin Clinic fountain will once again flow green, and many iconic landmarks across the state will be decorated or enhanced at night by special lighting in blue and/or green the weekend of April 13. Among those participating are Children’s of Alabama, REV Birmingham’s “Birmingham Lights” tunnels at 14th, 18th, 20th and 22nd Streets, 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. The 2018 design is inspired by the Maya Angelou quote, “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” Like the prismatic effect that creates a rainbow, a single organ donation can affect more than 75 lives. By registering to be a donor, you can change one ray of light into a spectrum of healing, and become a rainbow in someone’s cloud through the gift of organ donation.

A total of 34,768 organ transplants were performed in 2017 using organs from both deceased and living donors.. That number is a 3.4 percent increase over 2016, making 2017 the fifth consecutive record-setting year for transplants in the United States. Unfortunately, the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the number of organs donated. Currently, 54 percent of the U.S. adult population is registered as organ, eye and tissue donors, 34 percent in Alabama. Just under 115,000* people are waiting for a transplant, and, on average, 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not donated in time.

The AOC is the federally designated, nonprofit, organ procurement organization for the state of Alabama. The AOC 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 an organ and tissue donor. For more information about the Alabama Organ Center, Donate Life Month events, or to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, visit www.alabamaorgancenter.org.

*Data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of February, 2018