Jun 12

TO HONOR 50 YEARS OF SAVING LIVES: Gift of Life Donor Program Launches Campaign to Sign Up 50,000 More Organ Donor Heroes

Help Gift of Life Save More Lives

Support “50,000 for 50” Campaign: Sign Up Today at Donors1.org

 Gift of Life Donor Program, the vital link between organ donors and patients awaiting transplant, has an urgent call to action: To honor 50 years of saving lives in our community – and save more lives – help us sign up 50,000 more organ donors and bring hope to the thousands of children and adults on the transplant waitlist.

Everyone has the potential to save up to eight lives as an organ donor regardless of age, health, or medical history. And everyone can be an organ donor hero without going to the DMV and putting it on their driver’s license. It is easy and private to sign up any time online at donors1.org/register.

“50,000 for 50” Campaign

“The need is urgent. There are 5,000 children and adults on the transplant waitlist in our community – neighbors who are depending on us. Let’s show them we care. Help us register at least 10 people for each person waiting,” said Richard D. Hasz, Jr., MFS, CPTC, President and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program. “We need everyone to register because organ donation is such a rare gift. Just 1-2 percent of people who die in a hospital are able to donate their organs. Working together, let’s rally our community around our ‘50 for 50,000’ campaign and end the transplant waitlist. Sign up to become an organ donor today, share your decision and encourage others.”

Gift of Life’s “50,000 for 50” campaign will be fueled by the energy and dedication of its staff and hospital partners who work around the clock to save lives through organ donation, plus its hundreds of passionate volunteer ambassadors. From social media to grassroots outreach, Gift of Life’s supporters will work to engage all neighborhoods, dispel myths, and inspire more people to sign up to become an organ donor hero.

Media, businesses, community groups, schools and houses of worship are encouraged to embrace the “50,000 for 50” challenge and become leaders in addressing a public health crisis that we all have the ability to impact. Everyone has the potential to benefit from increasing the donor registry and contribute to the overall health, vitality, and productivity of our community.

“The need for more registered organ donors is a public health crisis most people don’t think about until it affects them. With the increase in diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease, any family can suddenly find a loved one in need of an organ transplant to survive,” said Hasz.

Each day, seventeen people in the U.S. die waiting for a transplant. Every 10 minutes, another child or adult is added to the national waitlist, which exceeds 100,000 people.

50 Years of Supporting Families

Launching its “50,000 for 50” campaign continues Gift of Life’s long tradition of leadership in the field of organ donation and transplantation. Since 1974, Gift of Life’s expert team has carefully guided and supported families through the donation process with compassion, commitment, and respect. What was originally called the Delaware Valley Transplant Program began with three employees traveling to hospitals across the region to work with grieving families and healthcare teams.

Today, Gift of Life is one of the largest and most successful organ procurement organizations (OPO) in the U.S. Gift of Life’s world-class team of more than 300 people works 24/7 with 126 acute care hospitals and 12 transplant centers in its region, as well as hundreds of transplant centers throughout the country, to provide the most comprehensive array of services available in the U.S. to the donation and transplantation community.

Gift of Life has coordinated the most donors and organs for transplant of any OPO in the country since the inception of our national donation system in 1988. Overall, Gift of Life has coordinated more than 59,000 organs and more than two million tissue transplants since its founding. The organization’s vision is to achieve a day when no one dies waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Learn more about Gift of Life’s profound impact on generations.

“I received a heart transplant in 2002 thanks to my donor hero and Gift of Life Donor Program,” said Earl Jones, a Gift of Life volunteer ambassador. “That second chance means I was able to watch my son and daughter grow up and that I’m blessed to enjoy spending time with my granddaughter and grandson, who are now close to the ages my children were at the time of my transplant. I’m living testimony to the power of organ donation and transplantation. Everyone has the potential to be an organ donor hero and give families like mine more precious time together.”

Cynthia London became a Gift of Life volunteer ambassador following the death of her beloved son, Sipho Thembla, whose name means “Gift of Hope.” Sipho saved six lives as an organ donor.

“Organ donation not only saves transplant recipients. It’s a saving grace for the donor’s family,” Cynthia said. “Thanks to Gift of Life Donor Program, donation gave me comfort, even at the painful time of Sipho’s death. Over the past 27 years, his legacy as a donor hero has taken me on a journey of hope as an advocate for organ donation. That’s why I’m so passionate about Gift of Life’s ‘50,000 for 50’ campaign and urge everyone to sign up to become a donor. Together, we can save more lives.”

Rallying Our Community to Help Save Lives

Gift of Life’s “50,000 for 50” campaign includes many opportunities for everyone to become partners in the donor program’s life-saving mission. Learn more and get involved by visiting donors1.org/50th.

Ways to help include:

  • Follow Gift of Life on social media (@donors1) and share its posts, which will feature a special series called “50 Fridays.”
  • Host an organ donor registration drive.
  • Invite Gift of Life to participate in community events.

The first step is to sign up to become an organ donor today at donors1.org/register. This confidential registry is available only to donation professionals after someone has died.

“It only takes about 30 seconds to sign up to become an organ donor. Those 30 seconds can mean a lifetime to someone,” said Hasz.


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