Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April: National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Month

Every day, week, and month it seems there is some national or worldwide awareness going one. There are resources for seeing what the current awareness issues are, but here you can be assured to hear about ones that pertain to men - their interests and their health over general or women's issues.

April includes things such as Animal Cruelty and  Earth Day - both of which I personally am passionate about - among others. But one important cause that men can and should take an interest in is organ donation. April is National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Month.

National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003 with the support of then Secretary of HHS, Tommy Thompson (former Governor of Wisconsin). Celebrated in April each year, NDLM features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.

Here is the presidential proclamation on the subject:

As Americans, we can demonstrate our commitment to one another in the most difficult of circumstances through organ, tissue, stem cell, and blood donation. During National Donate Life Month, we honor donors who provide others with a second chance for a healthy life and encourage more Americans to share this precious gift.


Today, over 100,000 Americans await donation on the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network waiting list. Many will receive a lifesaving transplant, but, for some, help will not come fast enough. Whether they are coping with kidney failure or recovering from severe injuries, these individuals' lives depend on the compassion of a loved one or a complete stranger. Across our country, we face a shortage of donors and an urgent need for help. We must respond with the spirit of generosity that has always defined our national character.


Each organ or tissue donor can save many lives, and becoming one is simple: join your State's donor registry, indicate your decision on your driver's license, and inform loved ones of your decision. There is no age limit for donors, and because some conditions and blood types are more common in certain ethnic and racial populations, the Department of Health and Human Services especially encourages minorities to consider donation.


Visit OrganDonor.gov to learn more about the urgent need for donors and to find resources on how to donate. Together, we can save lives and give hope to countless American families.


NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2010 as National Donate Life Month. I call upon health care professionals, volunteers, educators, government agencies, faith-based and community groups, and private organizations to join forces to boost the number of organ, tissue, blood, and stem cell donors throughout our Nation.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.


BARACK OBAMA


You can register for organ donation at the Donate Life web site but also make sure that your immediate family knows of your intentions.