April is National Donate Life Month

Emory Transplant Center Commemorates Organ Donation Month

Donate Life Organ Donation Logo Transplantation is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine, but the need for organ donation is greater than ever before. More than 123,000 men, women and children are on the national transplant list, within another person added every 10 minutes.

Each April, we celebrate National Donate Life month to raise awareness around organ donation and honor the donors who have given the gift of life. Research shows that 95 percent of Americans are in favor of being a donor, yet only 48 percent are registered. Those awaiting a lifesaving transplant need organs, tissue and bone marrow. These can all be transplanted, giving recipients, and their families, a second chance at life.

Emory Transplant Center is proud to play a part in transplantation – giving hope to thousands of people with organ failure and provides them and their families with active and renewed lives.

Interested in becoming a donor but have questions?  The Emory Transplant Center along with Donate Life of Georgia has compiled a list of informative facts to help you with your decision to become an organ donor.

Organ Donation Facts

  • Your donation can save multiple recipient lives. Did you know one organ donor can save up to eight lives? Think of the impact you could make on numerous families.  After donation, many organ recipients return to a normal lifestyle. For some, an organ transplant means no longer having to be dependent on costly routine treatments to survive. It allows many recipients to return to a normal lifestyle with family, friends, work and activities.
  • Organ vs tissue donation. Organ donation is the process of recovering organs from a deceased person and transplanting them into others to save the lives of those in need. Organs that can be transplanted include the heart, liver, lungs, kidney, pancreas and intestine. Tissue donation is the process of recovering tissue form a deceased person for transplantation. Donated tissue includes heart valves, bone, skin, corneas/eyes and soft tissue.
  • Live donation of organs.  Called living donation, individuals can donate a kidney, portions of the liver, lung, pancreas and intestines, as well as bone marrow to organ recipients while they are alive. Your living donation can help a family member or friend. Even complete strangers often donate and save lives!
  • You will not be responsible for the cost of donation. Many individuals incorrectly believe that if they donate organs that they or their family will then need to fund the cost of the operation used to remove the organ. It is also illegal to buy or sell organs for transplantation in the United States.
  • Sharing hope out of tragedy. For the family of the deceased donor, organ donation can provide a sense of goodness after tragedy and loss. Donor families often take some consolation in knowing that their loved one is continuing to live on through another person.

Want to learn more about organ donation? Visit Donate Life Georgia to get the facts about organ donation, register to become a donor and update your donate profile. To learn more about Emory’s Transplant Center, offering Georgia’s most comprehensive organ transplant program, visit emoryhealthcare.org/transplant.

Get Involved!

Are you a recipient? A donor family? We’d love to share your journey! Please email us at: communications@emoryhealthcare.org.

Also, join us at the 4th Annual Run 4 Your Life 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, April 23 at Piedmont Park. All funds raised will help Donate Life Georgia carry out its mission.

Former Emory Transplant Center Patient Gives Back via Charity Golf Tournament!

The Swing Easy Hit Hard Charity Golf Tournament held at the Windermere Golf Club in Cumming, GA on April 18, 2013, raised $2,500 to support the patient and family support programs at the Emory Transplant Center. Another $2,500 raised from the tournament will be used to support programs at Georgia Transplant Foundation.

Transplant Center Swing Easy Hit Hard Charity Tournament

Transplant Charity Tournament

Kirk Franz pictured with Kevin Clark of the Emory Transplant Center

Kirk Franz, a liver transplant recipient who celebrated his third-year transplant anniversary in May, was one of the transplant charity event’s organizers. Kirk is the recreation manager for the City of Johns Creek and an avid golfer.

“We really appreciate our golfers, sponsors and supporters who contributed to the tournament and made it a bigger success than last year,” says Kirk. “More than 40 golfers participated in the tournament and we hope to have more players and contributors next year to increase the support we can give to patients and families who are faced with organ transplantation.” He also received support from Drs. Stuart Knechtle and James Spivey, surgical and medical directors of the liver program, respectively. “They supported and participated in the tournament, too,” he says.

The golf tournament was organized in 2010 by Kirk’s family and friends to support his liver transplant fund. Now that he has recovered, he and his family have established a nonprofit foundation to continue hosting the annual transplant charity event to benefit transplant programs at Emory and the Georgia Transplant Foundation. In addition, Kirk and his wife, Shannon, actively volunteer with the Emory Transplant Center’s patient and family advisory council and mentor transplant candidates for the Georgia Transplant Foundation.

“I received so much support from my family, friends and the ETC team after my transplant, that I wanted to find a way to ‘pay it back’ and support others who are faced with an organ transplant,” Kirk says.