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National Organ Donor Day is an important time that celebrates all those people who have helped save people’s lives by donating not only organs but also blood, bone marrow, and tissue. It’s a day that drives home exactly how amazing and giving the human spirit is because it pays tribute to so many people who have donated of themselves, often to help save the life of someone they have probably  never met.

History of National Organ Donor Day

Referred to by some as simply “National Donor Day”, this day got its beginnings in 1988 when it was founded by the Saturn Corporation in partnership with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union organization. In addition, the US Department of Health and Human Services was also involved in establishing the day.

National Organ Donor Day is all about being selfless and giving of yourself to save another person’s life. It’s a celebration of everything that is wonderful about humanity, and a day everyone should be celebrating.

Other days commemorating donation include India’s National Organ Donation Day (sometimes called World Organ Donation Day) on November 27 as well as the Canadian celebration of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week that takes place each year in April.

How to Celebrate National Organ Donor Day

So, what are some of the best ways to celebrate National Organ Donor Day? It’s quite easy to get started by implementing some of these ideas and activities:

Become an Organ Donor

Many people’s lives are saved through the process of organ donation, and National Organ Donor Day is just the time to raise awareness about this process. Most of the time, those who become a registered organ donor can do so fairly easily, simply by indicating it on their state id card or driver’s license. When a person is an organ donor, this means that if something happens to lead to their death, their organs can be used to save the lives of many other people. It’s a final type of kindness at the end of life.

Donate Blood

Don’t worry! It isn’t necessary to immediately go out and actually find someone who needs an organ. At first it is possible to take a small step by donating some blood, which is a mostly painless process (except for a small prick of the needle). Even though it is a fairly simple process, a pint of blood could be instrumental in someone’s health and life because blood transfusions are responsible for saving millions of lives annually.

Finding out where it is possible to donate blood on a local level is relatively simple. It’s easy to conduct an online search to find out where to donate in your local area. Another option might be to speak to your doctor, who should be able to give all the donation information that is needed. There are also apps available that not only show how many people require a certain blood type at any one time but also organ, tissue, and marrow requirements.

Make a Financial Contribution

Those who are not able to donate blood or become organ donors for various medical reasons can still celebrate National Organ Donor Day by helping out some of the charitable foundations dedicated to the cause. Organ donation is an expensive medical procedure and the people with life-threatening illnesses often don’t have the financial resources needed. In this case, charities often step in to help offset the costs. The American Transplant Foundation and Donate Life America are just two such organizations that assist those who are in need. 

Sign Up to Become a Living Donor

Those who are very serious about National Organ Donor Day may consider becoming a living donor. Often, living donors are people who are family members or relatives of a person who needs a life-saving organ, but this isn’t always the case. It is also possible to sign up through a living donor bank.

The process requires some lab tests (blood or tissue) to reveal compatible types. Then, the donor’s name goes onto a list to see if someone of that type needs an organ, with the kidney being the most common. It is important that those who volunteer as donors are aware of the risks and difficulties that can be associated with such a procedure. But, for those who are willing, it is truly amazing to give the gift of life!

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