April is National Donate Life Month and Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa is reminding people of all ages about their potential to give life, comfort and hope to others by registering as an organ, tissue or blood donor.
Mountain Vista is collaborating with the Donor Network of Arizona to host a free, open-to-the-public event to educate people about the importance of organ donation, and help to enroll new organ donors in Arizona.
Tomorrow, April 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the public is invited to the Mesa hospital to register as an organ and tissue donor through the Donor Network of Arizona. All activities will be at the outpatient entrance of the hospital, which is located on the east side of the campus.
A blood drive will also take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through a mobile United Blood Services van stationed in the outpatient parking lot of the hospital.
“People of all ages have a potential to give life, comfort and hope to others by registering as an organ, tissue or blood donor,” said Dr. Andrew Fraser, a general surgery resident at Mountain Vista Medical Center. “Ninety-five percent of Americans are in favor of being an organ donor, but only 54 percent are registered. We’d like to increase the number of organ donors in Arizona, as more than 2,300 people in our state are on a wait list for an organ donation. Just one person can save and heal more than 75 lives by donating their organs, eyes and tissue.”
From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Fraser will share information to help the public better understand organ donation, and from 11 a.m. to noon, two volunteers from Donor Network of Arizona will share their personal stories about how organ donation has affected their lives.
A memorial quilt that is a tribute to organ and tissue donors will also be on display at the hospital.
Fast facts about organ donation:
- Ninety-five percent of Americans are in favor of being an organ donor, but only 54 percent are registered.
- More than 118,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ donation, and more than 2,300 live in Arizona. Another person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes. Sadly, 22 people die each day waiting for an organ.
- One person can save and heal more than 75 lives by donating their organs, eyes and tissue.
- In 2016, more than 33,600 organ transplants were performed in the U.S. This number sets a record for the fourth year in a row, representing an almost 20 percent increase in number of transplants since 2012.