How An Organ Donor Saved My Best Friend's Life + A Helpful Infographic

Written by Anum Yoon, Friend of a Kidney Recipient

Note from the Author: Thank you so much for letting me share Monica’s story, it is her experience that inspired me to become an advocate for organ donation. When I realized how many myths about organ donation there were, I wanted to create something that would help set the facts straight. I hope you learn something new about organ donation from this post!  

I’ve been friends with Monica since we were nine. We were classmates in an international school in Hong Kong. When I first saw her in our third grade classroom, I knew I wanted to be her friend. She was really fun to be around and had one of those smiles that just lit up the room.

We became inseparable - BFFs so to speak. When her family had to move back to the States, only a year after our friendship began, we were devastated.

We didn’t expect to be able to keep our friendship intact over the course of ten years, especially considering the fact that we never had the chance to see each other, but we did. Then I moved to America for college.

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Quick Facts, Statistics and Information: An Organ Donation Infographic

Written by Study Medicine Europe

The plight of those waiting for organ transplants is not something that is widely reported on, yet it is a daily struggle for over 120,000 people in the United States alone - and countless others around the globe. People of any age can be in need of an organ transplant, and we are more and more frequently seeing successful transplants in younger and older transplant recipients. Depending on the organs that a patient may require, the wait for a healthy organ match can be a long one, and, unfortunately, for an average of 18 people every day - a wait that is too long. While there is an ample amount of information on organ donation and transplants, there is still a great lack of education and many myths that surround the subject. 

Continuing to Make Great Strides for Organ Donation

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Show Your Kidneys Some Love for World Kidney Day

Did you know that over 100,000 of the 123,000 candidates waiting on an organ are waiting on a kidney transplant (based on OPTN data as of March 6, 2015)? That’s roughly 80% of the waiting list transplant candidates!

Photo: Did you know blueberries have been thought to be one of the "kidney superfoods"?

Kidneys are essential to our overall health and well being, as their primary function is to remove waste from our bodies. Additionally they help regulate our blood pressure, blood volume, and the chemical composition of our blood.

World Kidney Day, which started in 2006 with the participation of 66 countries, is a globally recognized health awareness campaign that focuses on the importance of the kidneys to our overall health in an effort to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and it’s associated health problems, worldwide.

Did You Know...

  • One in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease
  • 26 million American adults have Chronic Kidney Disease
  • 12 people die every day waiting on a kidney
  • Kidney disease often has no symptoms
  • Once kidneys fail, dialysis or a kidney transplant is required

See more facts here. 

Take Action

With March being National Kidney Month, it’s the perfect time to take action for your kidneys! 

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"Winning", the NFL, and Organ Donation

Well, the Dallas Cowboys lost… and that’s pretty much old news by now.

But we’re not really too concerned about who wins or loses in football. Honestly, we’re much more excited when we hear about someone “winning” by receiving the gift of life - like the recent story on Jim Ely, the NFL timekeeper for the Dallas Cowboys home games.

Photo: WFAA News

He’s 83 years old and recently received a kidney transplant - something not so common in his age group when it comes to organ transplants. Because their "life expectancy isn’t as long as others", many hospitals won’t consider patients over 70 years old for transplants. But Ely didn’t lose hope - he kept looking for a hospital that would take him. After being turned down by over half a dozen hospitals, doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center were convinced that Ely’s good health - and his motivation to do whatever was required to get healthier - made him a good candidate for being a transplant patient.

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Matching Donors with Recipients: The Process of Organ Donation

Have you ever wondered what the process of matching organ donors to organ recipients is like? Look no further and get ready to learn. (Adapted from

Matching Organ Donors with Organ Recipients

Once the evaluation of a deceased donor does not rule out donation, three crucial steps take place to match organ donors with organ recipients: 

1. Communication - The OPO (Organ Procurement Organization) contacts the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) to begin the search for matching recipients. The OPTN operates the national database of all patients in the U.S. waiting for a transplant. It is operated by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) under contract to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

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Think You’re Too Old to be an Organ Donor? Think Again

Photo: Flickr (Garry Knight)

“I’m too old to be an organ donor!”

“Well… you certainly don’t want my liver!”

“Honey, my organs are worn out… no one would want to receive these.”

These are just a few of the many comments I’ve heard when speaking and meeting with people about organ donation. They’re typically accompanied by a smile or snarky look on their face… but really it’s just another excuse to not spend a few minutes learning about organ donation, the positive impacts it has, registering to become an organ donor, and sharing a life changing decision with family and friends.

Fact: You’re never too old to register to become an organ donor.

The Myths

A few years back I had the opportunity to speak at a local retirement home with an audience full of people 50+ that thought they were too old to become organ donors, most of them over 60 years old. 

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8 Helpful Facts About Minorities and Organ Donation - Celebrating National Minority Donor Awareness Week

Image: Donate Life America

Did you know that August 1-7 is National Minority Donor Awareness Week?

Help celebrate! Learn the facts about minorities and donation, get answers to commonly asked questions about organ donation, and register to become an organ donor. 

1. National Minority Donor Awareness Week is about organ donation AND disease prevention.

While National Minority Donor Awareness Week was established to increase awareness around the need for more registered organ donors from minority groups and honor the diverse population of multicultural organ recipients, donors, and their families... it is also a time to increase awareness for healthy living habits and disease prevention in an effort to decrease the need for transplantation.

2. Currently, over 57% of waiting list candidates are minorities.

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9 Facts You Need to Know (and Share) About Organ Donation in the US

Photo: Ben Grey
When it comes to organ donation, most people like to have the facts. Hearing common myths associated with the process, and fear of the unknown can hold a person back in making the decision to become a registered organ donor.

At Taylor’s Gift Foundation, we’ve had the opportunity to witness the incredible life-giving impact that organ donation has on the lives of so many recipients. From transplant recipients like Lisa, Larry, Trent, and Paul; to living donors like Tresha and Jill - not to mention the countless others that we've met along this journey - there are so many stories of hope and inspiration that come from the simple, selfless decision to register to become an organ donor.

Learn the facts, and learn how you can leave an ‘Outlive Yourself’ legacy.

Did You Know...

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