Colleen Duran – Gift of Life Donor Program

Colleen Duran, Volunteer Coordinator for the

and Amy Dailey, a caregiver, nurse neighbor and mamber of a family personally impacted by organ donors were our guests this morning.  

(l to r)  Club President Jeff Revak, Colleen Duran and Amy Dailey

Gift of Life Donor Program is the largest organ procurement organization (OPO) in the United States, leading the nation in the number of organ donors since 2008.  Serving more than 11.2 million people across the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware, it helps and heals lives by coordinating the recovery and distribution of organs and tissues used in life-saving and life-enhancing transplants.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa., they serve as a critical link between individuals and families who make the generous decision to donate organs and tissues, and those who need a transplant.  The organization further provides compassionate care for donors, transplant recipients, and their families, and is committed to educating the public about the need for donor registration.

Gift of Life is part of the nationwide organ and tissue sharing network run by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and is proud to continually increase the number of people who benefit from organ donation.  Since its inception in 1974, we have coordinated more than 47,000 organ transplants and approximately one million tissue transplants.

Some Donation Myths and Facts:

  • Myth:  I have a medical condition, so I can't be a donor.
  • Fact:  Anyone, regardless of age of medical history, can sign up to be a donor.
  • Myth:  I am too old to be a donor.
  • Fact:  There is no age limit to organ donation.
  • Myth:  I don't think my religion supports organ donations.
  • Fact:  Most major religions in the United States support organ donations and consider such donations as the final act of love and generosity toward others.
  • Myth:  If the see I'm a donor at the hospital, they won't try to save my live.
  • Fact:  When a person is sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the one and only priority is to save the person's life.
  • Myth:  Rich or famous people on the waiting list get organs faster.
  • Fact:  A national computer system matches donated organs to recipients.
  • Myth:  My family won't be able to have an open casket funeral if I am a donor.
  • Fact:  A open casket funeral is usually possibe for organ, eye and tissue donors.
  • Myth:  My family will have to pay for the donation.
  • Fact:  There is no cost to donors or their families for organ or tissue donations.
  • Myth:  Somebody could take my organs and sell them.
  • Fact:  Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the U.S.
  • Myth:  If I am in a coma, they could take my organs.
  • Fact:  The majority of deceased organ donors are patients who have been declared brain dead.
  • Myth:  People in teh LGBT community can't donate.
  • Fact:  There is no policy or federal regulation that excludes a member of the LGBT community from donating organs. 

What Organs can be donated:

  • Heart (must be transplanted within 4 hours)
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys (must be transplanted within 72 hours)
  • Liver
  • Intestines
  • Pancreaas

What Tissues can be donated:

  • Corneas
  • Tendons
  • Valves
  • Veins
  • Skin
  • Bones

Donations can require certain matches:

  • Blood type
  • Body size
  • How sick the donor or donee is
  • Donor distance
  • Tissue type
  • Time on teh donor list

Some Organ/Tissue Donor Statistics:

  • Only 3% of the U.S. polulation are organ'tisue donors.
  • More than 36,000 organ transplants each year.
  • More than 1,75 million tissue transplants each year.
  • 48,000 corneal transplants each year.
  • 115,000 men, women an dchildren await life-saving organ transplants.
  • Another person is added to the wiating lists every ten minutes.
  • 80% of the patients on the waiting lists need a kidney (can come from living donors).
  • 12% of the patients on the waiting lists need a liver (can come from a living donor).
  • Sadly, 8,000 peopl edie eachyear becasue the organs they need are not donated in time.

Amy Dailey shared with us her experiences with organ donors … which began in January 1984 when her gandmother passed away.  Fortunately, she had informated her family of her wishes to have her eyes donated.  Later, her uncle and daughter (age 26 – who suffered from a genetic disease which weakens conective stissues) required transplants.  in 2010, Amy tripped and fell and, as a result, suffered painful dental problems which were corrected using a bone graft.

At the conclusion of their presentaitons, a host of questions were forthcoming.  To a person, everyone appeared to learn a great deal.

 

If interested in becoming an Organ or Tissue Donor, you can contact the Gilf of Life Donor Program at (800) 366-06771 or www.donor1.org.