February 14th is National Donor Day!

The American Transplant Foundation has been connecting people to life for 19 years, going beyond awareness by providing real help to real families and making sure nobody goes through the transplant process alone.

Last year, record high numbers of organs were transplanted in our state – 783! At the national level, 46,630 organs were transplanted in 2023. These are fantastic numbers and translate to thousands of lives saved. As of February 2024, 103,408 individuals remain on the national organ transplant waiting list. 1,254 Coloradans are still awaiting an organ transplant. This number includes 42 children under the age of 18. Although there are individuals of all ages waiting to receive a lifesaving organ, one age group saw a record high of candidates added to the national waitlist in 2023: 6,445 individuals ages 18-34.

The American Transplant Foundation’s vision is to make Colorado the first state where nobody dies while waiting for a transplant. Last year, the number of Coloradans who died while waiting for a transplant or became too sick to be transplanted was 151 (vs. 166 in 2022) – that’s 151 lives! While this number has slightly improved since the previous year, 151 individuals did not receive the life saving donation they needed in time. Currently, 256 individuals have been on the transplant waiting list in Colorado for over 6 months. There are 69 individuals in Colorado who have been on the waiting list for 5+ years. We believe that no one should have to wait over 5 years to be given the gift of life.

The American Transplant Foundation has designed the Patient Assistance Program, the only program of it's kind nationwide that provides direct financial assistance grants to solid organ transplant recipients and living organ donors, regardless of their legal status. It aims to provide financial assistance to the most vulnerable transplant patients with significant financial hardship. We have assisted 1,745+ transplant recipients and living donors to date and provided 1,140,000 life saving funds. We are proud to be able to provide real help to real families when they need it most. 

This National Donor Day we want to acknowledge the amazing individuals who served as donors, nationally and in the state of Colorado. Nationally 23,286 individuals gave the gift of life, 16,335 being deceased donors and 6,951 being living donors. In 2023, a record breaking number of Coloradans donated one or more organs (423!) with 166 of these individuals being living donors and 257 being deceased. As we celebrate all of these inspiring individuals who have chosen to give the gift of life to family, friends and strangers, it is important to acknowledge the growing number of candidates still on the waitlist. We would like to take a moment to remind our viewers to consider registering yourself as an organ donor, and if you know someone who is affected by transplantation – reach out to them. If you would like to support a transplant patient – make a donation to the American Transplant Foundation’s emergency fund. 100% of your gift will go directly to transplant patients.

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