Last updated: December 03. 2013 5:25PM - 470 Views
Margaret Brackett Contributing Columnist

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LifePoint is the designated Organ Procurement Organization for organ recovery services in South Carolina. LifePoint actively procures organ, tissue, and ocular donor services to over 62 hospitals throughout the state. LifePoint also helps support and educate families at an emotionally devastating time, so they can make well informed decisions about organ and tissue donation. LifePoint Inc. is located in Charleston.

Mark Johnson, media relations coordinator of LifePoint, is the spokesman for Newberry Notes this week. He has a story to tell that in today’s world of medical technology, miracles happen every day.

“Every 10 minutes another person is added to the National Transplant Waiting List. There are 120,521 people on this list of candidates as of Nov. 15, 2013. Over 98,000 of those are in need of a kidney. This represents 82 percent of those on the National Waiting List. The Waiting List waiting list continues to grow. There are 1,000 candidates on South Carolina Waiting List. Without more donors, many on the waiting list will die waiting. In fact, an average of 19 people in the U.S. die each day because of the shortage of life-saving organs,” said Johnson.

In South Carolina 103 people became organ donors upon their deaths during 2012 and helped save 300 lives in S.C. and across the nation. Nationally, over 25,000 people began new lives last year thanks to organ transplants.

In South Carolina there were also 361 tissue donors and 444 eye donations in 2012. Nationally, over 40,000 patients had their sight restored through transplants and over 1 million transplants were performed during 2012. All of these donations saved or improved the lives of South Carolinians and people across the country.

During National Donor Sabbath Months, as well as the year, we urge those who want to become donors to register their legal consent to become an organ/tissue donor. South Carolina congregations help educate about organ and tissue donation. Regardless of religious affiliation, many congregations and houses of worship across S.C. will unite in honor of Donor Sabbath at various times during November and December. This is an interfaith celebration of life that reminds congregations of their faiths’ support of the life-saving benefits of organ and life-improving benefits of tissue donation. During National Donor Sabbath Month and through the year, we urge those who want to become donors to register their legal consent to become an organ/tissue donor. For more information contact Johnson, at 1-800-462-0755 or 864-763-7755 .

The following activities help Donate Life:

• Fans of the USC and Clemson including students, faculty, alumni and members of the community competed to see which team registered the most organ, eye and tissue donors before the annual rivalry football game. This initiative was a partnership between Donate Life of South Carolina LifePoint and The Heather Trew Foundation and designed to increase awareness about organ, tissue and eye donations at colleges across the state.

• The 2014 Donate Life Rose Parade Float in New York’s 125th Rose Parade New Year’s day features a festival of lanterns containing 81 floral portraits of deceased donors illuminating 30 riders who are all grateful organ and tissue transplant recipients and 12 living organ donors walking alongside to demonstrate their ongoing vitality. The riders are seated throughout a dedication garden filled with roses bearing personal messages of love, hope and remembrance. South Carolina will be represented by kidney recipient Sherri Plair. More than 40 million television viewers and parade spectators see the Rose Parade each year.

In more than 25 years, inspiration has grown to enhance and save lives through donation and continues today to be fulfilled by a dedicated staff and through the generosity of donors. Our future challenges are great, but we must and will succeed. Someone’s life depends on it.

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