Submitted by Donate Life
In honor of April’s designation as National Donate Life Month, LifePoint and Donate Life South Carolina partnered with Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center to organize today's first-time Upstate event called Linking Hands for Life. More than 150 people, many of the transplant recipients and donor families, attended the event this afternoon. It was held at the GHS Patewood Medical Campus to help raise awareness about the need for more organ, eye and tissue donors. The brief ceremony on the medical campus lawn was followed by those in attendance linking hands as a symbolic chain of remembrance and thanksgiving that represented the cycle of life.
Our Upstate event is part of a statewide campaign that includes other Linking Hands For Life events in Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach. These events are part of a national initiative that will include similar activities from coast to coast as part of the Donate Life America 20 Million In 2012 campaign, which has a goal of signing up 20 million donors in 2012.
Currently, more than 113,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list, and approximately 1000 of them are on the South Carolina waiting list. Without more donors, many on the waiting list will die waiting. In fact, an average of 18 people in the U.S. die each day because of the shortage of life-saving organs. It is hoped that the designation of April as Donate Life Month will call attention to the need for more organ/tissue donors in South Carolina as well as inform the public about the South Carolina Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.
In South Carolina, 127 people became organ donors at their deaths during 2011 and helped save 418 lives. Nationally, more 26,000 people began new lives last year thanks to organ transplants. More than 40,000 patients had their sight restored through cornea transplants and more than 1 million tissue transplants were performed during 2011. In South Carolina, there were also 289 tissue donors and 423 ocular (eye) donations. These donations saved or improved the lives of South Carolinians and people across the country.
We urge those who want to become donors to register their legal consent to become donors. Registering is easy, quick, and heroic. Individuals can register now by visiting the website or by obtaining, renewing, or changing their S.C. driver's license/ID at the SCDMV. When registering through the SCDMV, a new logo representing legal consent will be placed on an individual’s license/ID. It is a heart and "Y" surrounded by a circle.