Spectrum Health Lakeland brings awareness to National Donate Life Month

Published 8:43 am Tuesday, April 9, 2019

ST. JOSEPH — Currently, 2,997 men, women, and children in Michigan, and 114,000 nationwide, are awaiting lifesaving organ transplants, according to Spectrum Health Lakeland.

Each day, on average, 88 lives are saved by an organ transplant in the U.S., but 22 people die daily waiting for a transplant that never comes.

During National Donate Life Month, Spectrum Health Lakeland encourages community members to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors and celebrates those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.

“Another person is added to the nation’s organ transplant wait list every 10 minutes,” said Maureen Bishop, RN, clinical nurse specialist. “Through organ donation, one person can save up to eight lives while a single tissue donor can help up to 75 additional people in need. We encourage people of all ages and medical histories to become donors.”

Last year, Michigan’s 338 organ donors resulted in 1,087 life-saving organ transplants. Another 1,381 donors provided the gift of tissue for thousands of patients in need. So far, this year, the generosity of Michigan donors has led to 245 transplants and saved numerous lives.

To become an organ donor, those interested can visit any local Secretary of State office or spectrumhealthlakeland.org/donatelife. People can also show their support for organ donation by purchasing a “Donate Life” Michigan license plate. Proceeds from the purchase of this plate help support organ donation awareness.

Spectrum Health Lakeland is a nonprofit, community-owned health system serving southwest Michigan and northern Indiana.