And the tradition continues. About 190 million Valentine's Day cards are sent each year in the U.S. This does not include the hundreds of millions of cards school children exchange. Recently, February 14th has become more and more commercialized and a traditional gift-giving holiday, with Valentine’s Day, themed advertisements encouraging spending on loved ones. The price per gift or flowers ranges on average from $30-$125; the hope is to put a smile on someone’s face and love in their heart.
On an even larger scale, there is a gift we all can give that last a lifetime. Today is also National Organ Donor Day. Observed each year on February 14th, National Organ Donor Day is a day to increase awareness about organ donation and save lives. In the United States, more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation.
National Organ Donor Day focuses on five different types of donations: Organs–Tissues–Marrow– Platelets–Blood. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for over 41,000 daily donations.
There are three different ways to be a donor:
Living donation offers another choice for transplant candidates, and it saves two lives: the recipient and the next one on the deceased organ waiting list. Even better, kidney and liver patients who can receive a living donor transplant can receive the best quality organ much sooner, often in less than a year.
Deceased organ, eye or tissue donation is the process of giving an organ (or a part of an organ), eye, or tissue at the time of the donor’s death, for the purpose of transplantation to another person. At the end of your life, you can give life to others.
Vascularized Composite Allografts (VCA)
Vascularized Composite Allografts (VCAs) involve the transplantation of multiple structures that may include skin, bone, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. The most commonly known type of VCAs is for hand and face transplants.
Consider organ donation. Visit donatelifenw.org and organdonor.gov for more information.
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