Donating life theme for April

LIHU’E — Members of the Hawai’i Coalition on Donation are banking on the Hawai’i aloha tradition of caring and compassion for others to help increase the numbers of organ donors among Hawai’i residents.

Coalition leaders claim that each organ and tissue donor can help up to 50 people with life-saving and life-enhancing procedures, according to a proclamation representatives of the organization accepted recently from Kaua’i Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste.

April has been proclaimed National Donate Life Month by Baptiste, and the celebration is geared to raise awareness about organ donation and the contributions the program affords those who are waiting for life-saving transplants.

In Hawai’i, at any given time, 10 people are awaiting cornea transplants, while approximately 385 more await heart, liver, kidney, or pancreas transplants.

According to statistics on the Donate Life Web site, another name is added to the national transplant waiting list every 12 minutes, and an average of 17 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.

The Web site adds that, in 2004, a total of 27,028 organ transplants were done from 7,150 deceased organ donors and 6,990 living organ donors.

Additionally, nearly 47,000 cornea transplants were performed in 2004.

The Hawai’i Coalition on Donation leaders claim that the gifts of life, sight and healing are truly the most generous and honorable gifts one person can share with another.

Members of the coalition include representatives of the Hawai’i Lions Eye Bank and Makana Foundation, Living Donor Council, Bayanihan/Minority Tissue Transplant Education Program, National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii, Organ Donor Center of Hawaii, St. Francis Transplant Institute of Hawaii jointly with the Aloha Medical Mission, Congress of Visayan Organizations, Filipino Coalition for Solidarity, Filipino Nurses Organization of Hawaii, Philippine Nurses Association, United Filipino Council of Hawaii, Oahu Filipino Community Council, Nurses Advocates and Mentors, Kauai Filipino Community Council, Kauai Fil-Am Jaycees, Honolulu Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the Maui Filipino Council.

For more information, people may visit the Donate Life Web site at donatelife.net. This Web site has numerous links that provide a wealth of information and statistics on organ donation.

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