National Donate Life Month

Apr 6 3:05pm | Kristin Eggebraaten | @keggebraaten

Another year has gone by and some of us are still staying home, still social distancing and still trying to keep ourselves and our families safe and healthy. In terms of celebrating National Donate Life month, this year will be similar to last. While in-person celebrations are easing back into our new normal, celebrations for transplant patients and staff are still small and physically distant. Our main goal is to protect our patients, staff and the gifts of life that have been so selflessly given.

Much like last year, COVID-19 doesn't take away our ability to celebrate - to honor and thank those who have given the gift of life, received the gift of life and the healthcare workers who are continuing their dedicated work during this time.

The theme for 2021 Donate Life Month is Garden of Life. The garden and insects within it serve as symbols of hope, courage and transformed life—all themes found within the donation and transplantation journey. The Donate Life garden depicts an ecosystem of plants, insects, and other components working together to form an interconnected living system. This is true of all the pieces that come together during the transplant journey from the donor to the recipient, healthcare team and caregiver.

Let’s all find ways to celebrate these significant dates this year:

  • April 16th is Blue & Green day. Find your blue and green attire and take a selfie, post to social media, share statistics and pictures! You can share your ideas and photos with us on Facebook at Transplantation at Mayo Clinic.
  • Say 'thank you' to your care team, your donor/donor family and your caregivers who have been a part of your transplant journey. Make them a card or use a simple text, call or FaceTime to share your gratitude!
  • Some of us are at home with kids, and some of us are kids at heart who still enjoy coloring! Donate Life America also has some printable coloring sheets you could hang in your house or windows.
  • If you are comfortable, share your story on social media. You can tag Donate Life America (@DonateLife) and Transplantation at Mayo Clinic (@MayoClinicTransplant) or use #nationaldonatelifemonth.
  • Change your cover photo, profile picture frame or use the filter effects provided by Donate Life America (instructions and assets under social media section).
  • Follow along with LifeSource's 30 day #ShareYourHeart Challenge.

There were nearly 40,000 transplants performed in 2020 despite the pandemic, which is the 10th consecutive record-breaking year for the United States. More than 5,700 of those transplants were living donor transplants, which is amazing considering these were surgeries were paused for a short time in 2020. While this is something to celebrate and show appreciation for all of those who gave a life-saving gift last year, the need for organ donation is still critical.

One donor can impact up to 85 lives, 75 lives from tissue donation, 8 lives from solid organ and 2 lives from cornea donation. You are able to register to become an organ donor from your home. If you know someone interested in registering, share this with them. If you’ve registered with your drivers license office, you can still sign up for the registry with this link.

Do you have any suggestions on how to 'celebrate' National Donate Life Month this year? Share them below!

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