MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – One local organization is asking the community a simple question; for Giving Tuesday this year, have you considered giving the gift of life?
That is precisely what Donate Life West Virginia wants you to do by becoming an organ donor. The organization works with the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE), which is in partnership with 146 hospitals throughout Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, NY to provide organs, tissue and corneas for patients on the transplant list, according to their website.
Kayla Gray works as CORE’s professional services liaison at WVU Medicine and said that every day they educate people on donating organs, tissue or cornea because there are more than 113,000 people in need of an organ donation in the US.
Approximately 500 of those people live right here, in the Mountain State.
“We really just want to share the importance of being an organ, tissue and cornea donor because what greater gift is there than giving the gift of life through organ tissue and cornea donation,” Gray said. “We really wanted to spread the awareness for how important it is and how it really changes everyone’s life.”
On average, according to CORE, 11,000 people die annually who are considered medically suitable to donate organs, tissue, and corneas, yet only a fraction actually donate.
The easiest way to register to become a donor, Gray said, is to register at the DMV or they can do so online. Every registered organ donor can save up to eight lives and improve up to 75 more, according to the release from Donate Life WV.
Donate Life West Virginia’s mission, according to a press release, is to increase donation awareness across the Mountain State, increase donor designation and end waiting time for recipients in need of the life-saving gift of transplantation. Every eight minutes, according to CORE, someone new is added to the organ transplant waiting list.
“Every day 100 people are saved through the gift of organ donation so it really does make an impact on each and every day of those who made that decision on their license and whose families chose to give that gift of life,” Gray said.