Learn the Facts

In the United States, over 113,000 people are currently awaiting organ transplant.

  • Approximately 19 people die each day while waiting for an organ due to the shortage.
  • An estimated 12,000 people die annually who would be medically suitable to donate organs. Only about 8,000 actually donate.
  • Diseases of the heart, lung, pancreas and kidney are more common in ethnic minorities than Caucasians. For example, African Americans make up more than one third of the national waiting list for kidney transplants.

One organ donor can save up to eight lives with transplant organs and improve the quality of life for up to 50 people with donated tissues.

  • There is no age limit to becoming a donor.
  • Very few illnesses actually prevent someone from being a donor.
  • If you’re already an organ donor, remember to tell your family that you believe in donating life! Informing family helps smooth out the process and makes them more comfortable when honoring your wishes.
  • Organ donation does not come at a cost to the donor’s family. The donor’s family pays for medical care and funeral costs, but not for organ donation. Costs related to donation are paid by the recipient, usually through insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
  • The matching system for pairing donors and patients is computerized. Recipients’ financial or celebrity status never factor in.
  • Minority donors are greatly needed. Race is not a factor in organ matching, but there is a better chance of finding a compatible blood type from donors of a similar ethnic background.

Did you know…

Most major religions are not opposed to organ donation and transplantation; several strongly encourage it because of its life-saving potential. Some religions view it as a decision that must be made by the individual regardless of their stance on the issue. Catholicism, Judaism, and Islam, for example, strongly support donation. The Mennonites, Quakers, and Church of Latter Day Saints feel that the choice is personal.

For a comprehensive overview of religions and their views on organ donation, visit OrganDonor.gov or GiftofLifeMichigan.org  to find out more.