If you have ever thought about becoming an organ and tissue donor, April is National Donate Life Month and there’s no time like the present.
Americans are encouraged throughout the month to register through planned activities in local communities.
Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center in Show Low, Arizona is one of many healthcare organizations that collaborate with Donor Network of Arizona’s Health Care for Hope campaign.
“It’s a community awareness campaign to get the word out about the need for donation in Arizona and how signing up and registering can provide the gift of hope to someone waiting and praying for their miracle,” said Susan Bowles, professional development specialist at Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center.
Summit Healthcare Regional Medical Center participates in a number of events in April.
“We do our annual flag raising ceremony for the Donor Network of Arizona flag where CEO Ron McArthur gives a speech and invites the community to be part of the registration campaign,” Bowles said. “There are tables set up in the hospital and we’re fortunate to display one of the many panels from the Donor Network of Arizona’s donor quilt.”
One of the quilt blocks is dedicated to a local White Mountains of Arizona donor.
Registration also happens outside of the hospital. Bowles had tables at the Trauma Conference in Snowflake and the Women’s Health Conference at Hon-Dah Resort Casino and Conference Center.
“We have more than 2,300 people in Arizona waiting for organs,” Bowles said. “I can’t imagine how nerve-racking that must be every time the phone rings and you’re thinking to yourself is this it.”
Bowles understands people have a lot of questions when they start to think about becoming an organ and tissue donor. While April is National Donate Life Month, she believes educating people about becoming a donor and encouraging registration is ongoing.
This is why Bowles feels it’s so important to have donor families and recipients come to local events and share their stories of getting a second chance or how their loved one was able to provide the gift of life.
You can read some of these selfless heroes stories at LiveonAZ.org. Their generosity has given others the opportunity to live their lives and fulfill dreams they didn’t think possible.
“My own mom was a donor, so I know first hand what that feels like and the amazing difference somebody can provide,” Bowles said. “One tissue donor can save up to 50 lives and one organ donor eight.”
“When else do ‘Ordinary’ people have the chance to do something so ‘Extraordinary’,” Bowles continued.
“By donating my organs and tissues, I help someone live and that’s my legacy. This is the way I choose to keep on going and to help someone else keep on going.”
If interested in finding out more information about being an organ and tissue donor, contact Bowles at firstname.lastname@example.org