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News & Insights

Shining Light on National Donate Life Month

News & Insights

April marks National Donate Life Month (NDLM), a significant period dedicated to promoting organ, eye, and tissue donation across the United States. Established in 2003 by Donate Life America and its affiliates, NDLM is an annual reminder of the lifesaving potential inherent in organ donation and transplantation.[1]

The Importance of Donation

At the heart of NDLM lies a simple yet profound message: donation saves lives. Currently, over 100,000 individuals are on the national transplant waiting list, with thousands more added each year. For these individuals and their families, organ and tissue donation represents hope amidst uncertainty.

Consider the statistics: 125,000 men, women, and children await lifesaving organ transplants, and tragically, approximately 8,000 people lose their lives annually due to the scarcity of available organs. Kidney transplants are in exceptionally high demand, with 82% of patients on the waiting list requiring this vital organ.[2]

But it’s not just organs that can make a difference. Donated tissues such as skin, bone, and heart valves can dramatically improve the quality of life for recipients and help save lives. One tissue donor can restore health and heal the lives of more than 75 people. Approximately 2.5 million tissue transplants are performed each year.[3] Tissue donation can benefit patients in several severe or life-threatening medical situations, including:

  • Saving patients with severe burns
  • Allowing athletes with torn ligaments or tendons to heal and regain strength
  • Restoring hope and mobility to military men and women who have been injured in combat
  • Repairing musculoskeletal structures such as teeth, skin, and spinal components
  • Tissue donation must be initiated within 24 hours of a person’s death. Unlike organs, donated tissues can be processed and stored for an extended period, making it possible to help even more people in need. Most people can be potential tissue donors at the time of death.

While medical technology advances, the need for organ, eye, and tissue donation far surpasses the available donors. Additionally, some individuals generously donated birth tissue, including the placenta and amniotic membrane, which promote natural wound healing. By considering tissue donation, individuals have the power to leave a lasting impact, providing hope and healing to those who are desperately in need.

Taking Action

Thankfully, there are actionable steps individuals can take to make a difference. Registering as a donor is a quick and straightforward process that takes just 30 seconds. Contrary to common misconceptions, registration is not limited to specific events like driver’s license renewals; anyone can sign up anytime here.

Living donation offers another avenue for providing the gift of life. Whether donating a kidney or a portion of the liver, living donors are crucial in addressing the organ shortage. Living donation is not restricted to family members; altruistic donors and paired exchange programs further expand the pool of potential donors, offering hope to those in need.[4]

Important Dates to Remember

As part of National Donate Life Month, several key dates are worth noting:[5]

  • Donate Life Living Donor Day: April 3, 2024
  • Blue & Green Spirit Week: Begins April 6, 2024
  • National Donate Life Blue and Green Day: Friday, April 12, 2024
  • Grief Support Workshops: April 21 & April 24
  • Donor Remembrance Day: April 30, 2024
  • NMDP Bone Marrow Drive: April 1, 2024 – April 30, 2024

These dates signify opportunities for individuals or communities to come together, raise awareness, and support the cause of organ and tissue donation.

Joining the Cause

Throughout April, numerous events and initiatives take place to raise awareness and encourage participation in organ and tissue donation. From Donate Life Living Donor Day to National Donate Life Blue and Green Day, these activities serve as opportunities for communities to come together to support this lifesaving cause.

Additionally, partnerships with organizations like the National Marrow Donor Program highlight the importance of bone marrow donation, further diversifying how individuals can save lives.

How OriGen is Involved

As we commemorate National Donate Life Month, it’s crucial to take action to support this critical cause. Registering as an organ and tissue donor is a tangible way to make a lasting impact on the lives of others. It’s also essential to recognize the advancements that have revolutionized the field of donation and transplantation. Cryopreservation, for instance, plays a pivotal role in ensuring the availability of tissues for transplantation. 

OriGen Biomedical offers innovative solutions such as the TissueVault™ Cell & Tissue Freezing Bag, which facilitates the long-term frozen storage of cells and tissues in any freezing environment down to cryogenic temperatures, -196°C (-321°F). These bags are versatile and suitable for cryopreserving various solid tissues for long-term storage or transportation. The benefits of cryopreservation are well documented, including allowing for better inventory management of corneas and ensuring they are readily available when needed. Additionally, OriGen supplies CryoPur™ cryopreservation solutions and various accessories to streamline the cryopreservation process.

In Texas, many individuals register as donors when obtaining their driver’s licenses or during vehicle registration renewal at the DMV. You, too, can make a difference by supporting efforts to save lives through organ donation. Whether registering as a donor for the first time or checking your donor status online through Donate Life Texas, your involvement can profoundly impact those awaiting transplantation.[6]

Throughout the year, but this month especially, let us honor the heroes who have given the gift of life through donation and transplantation and continue to raise awareness, advocate for donation, and ensure that every individual in need receives the second chance they deserve.


  1. April is National Donate Life Month | American Society of Transplantation
  2. April is National Donate Life Month | St. Josephs Health
  3. Tissue Donation 
  4. Giving the Gift of Life: April is Donate Life Month
  5. National Donate Life Month | NJ Sharing Network
  6. Donate Life Texas
  7. Donor Alliance National Donate Life Month
  8. April is National Donate Life Month | Organ Donation Alliance