With blooming daffodils offering a sense of renewal, the month of April is also National Donate Life Month. Now in its 10th year, the campaign offers local, regional, and national educational activities designed to encourage Americans to become organ and tissue donors.
Folks like Barb Adams, wife of Adams Fairacre Farms owner Pat Adams, have made it a personal mission.
Pat received a heart transplant last year, and today he is healthy and as active as ever. Now he and his wife are committed to helping spread the word about the need for donors.
And they are succeeding. In the recent Campaign4Life, a friendly competition between the 10 counties in the state’s Organ Donor Network (NYODN) district, the Dutchess County group won with more than 100 new registrations.
“We are proud of our efforts. The $1,000 prize will be used to help our education campaign with the purchase of a flat-screen TV showing interviews and updated information for the various health fairs we attend, especially the Dutchess County Fair,” Barb explained.
While NYODN works year-round to educate New York residents about the critical need for more organ and tissue donors, these efforts are enhanced during April. National Donate Life Month was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003 with the support of then- Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson.
Nationally, more than 119,000 women, men, and children wait for a life-saving transplant—nearly 10,000 of them are New Yorkers. (for specific numbers, visit unos.org). Every 2½ hours a person is added to the state’s Donor Registry.
You can show your support by wearing the colors of the organization and celebrate National Blue & Green Day on Friday, April 19.
And, if you’re a New York resident, you can add your name to the organ donor registry when applying for or renewing your driver’s license at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
As a person with Polycystic Kidney Disease, my transplant, in 2005, was a “rebirth” to a healthy life. What better way to help one another than pledging to be an organ donor. I have been given eight additional years to enjoy life, and I thank my anonymous donor daily.