During the month of February, nothing says “I’m thinking of you” and “I care” more than a greeting card adorned with hearts and flowers; nothing, except a drivers’ license or state ID card imprinted with the phrase “organ donor.”

February 14th is National Donor Day in Arkansas and across America. On this day donation partners—including ARORA, transplant centers, and hospitals—take this opportunity to raise awareness of the life-saving and life-enhancing benefits of organ, tissue and eye donation. National Donor Day is also a time to encourage everyone to register to become a donor. In Arkansas, it is easy to register by logging onto arora.org, or by visiting any local Department of Motor Vehicles office when applying for or renewing a driver’s license or state identification card.

Currently, there are more than 113,000 people on the national waiting list for a life-saving heart, kidney, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver, intestines or a combination of these organs. The need for transplantable organs greatly outweighs the number of available organs, which is one of the reasons donor registration is so important.

Here are some important facts about donation:
• 20 people die each day awaiting a transplant
• Every 10 minutes another person is added to the organ waiting list
• Only 3 in 1000 people die in a manner that allows them to become organ donors
• 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives
• 1 organ and tissue donor can save and/or enhance up to 100 lives

In the spirit of this day of observance of the benefits of life-saving gifts, National Donor Day is a great time to have a caring conversation with loved ones to inform them of donation wishes. This is important because, in Arkansas, family members cannot override a registered Arkansan’s intent to donate organs.

This National Donor Day, ARORA sends its sincere thanks to all hospital donation partners for their support of ARORA’s mission to restore lives through the recovery of organs and tissues for transplant, and for encouraging Arkansans to “Save 8. Donate.” by registering to become donors.