Living

Northern Maine Medical Center marks Donate Life Month

FORT KENT, Maine — Northern Maine Medical Center (NMMC) joins the nation this month in supporting efforts to educate the public on the importance of registering as organ, eye and tissue donors. Donate Life America celebrates National Donate Life Month each year during the month of April.

On April 21, the public is encouraged to wear blue and green in an effort to spread awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. In addition to educating the public, the focus of the month-long event is also to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.

Donate Life America is a not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States committed to increasing the number of donated organs, eyes and tissue available for transplant to save and heal lives. Although 95 percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, only 54 percent are registered.

Currently more than 118,000 men, women, and children in the United States are waiting for a life-saving transplant. More than 5,000 of these individuals live in the New England region. Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national waiting list and each day, 22 people die while they wait for an organ. One American dies nearly every hour waiting for a transplant — yet a single organ donor can save as many as eight lives.

According to Donate Life America, individuals of all ages and medical histories should consider themselves potential donors. The medical condition at the time of death will determine what organs and tissue can be donated.

To register to become a donor, go to www.donatelife.net. Registering provides legal consent for organ and tissue donation and allows donation professionals across the nation to act upon an individual’s request to donate at the time of death.

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