By Camm Ashford
Organ donation is a life or death issue, and our city is doing something about it. Mayor Tim Kelly has signed a proclamation marking April in Chattanooga as Donate Life Month.
The proclamation was made in partnership with Tennessee Donor Services to mark the month when the state and nation urge Americans to register to be organ and tissue donors.
High Point Climbing, the Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum of America Art on April 22 will be lit in the official colors of organ donation–blue and green–to honor Blue and Green Day.
The proclamation and lighting are part of Chattanooga’s participation in Tennessee Donor Services’ 2022 #BeTheGift Challenge–an effort to register 115,000 new organ and tissue donors in Tennessee this year.
Currently, more than 100,000 people are on the national transplant list, and each day 17 people die while they wait. Every donor can save 8 lives through organ donation and enhance more than 75 lives with tissue donation.
Sabrina, who lives in Tennessee, recently learned that she would receive both a kidney and a pancreas.
When Sabrina was diagnosed at the age of 8 with juvenile diabetes, her pancreas was no longer working. Over the years, her kidneys began failing as well. Sabrina began dialysis and her doctors put her on the list for a kidney transplant.
Four months later, Sabrina learned that she would receive both a kidney and a pancreas.
It was a bittersweet blessing; she knew the gift of life had meant someone else’s sacrifice.
“That’s why I now share my story,” she says. “I can’t tell you how wonderful my life has become. An organ donor truly saves lives and gives hope.”
Tennessee Donor Services is a non-profit, organ procurement organization dedicated to saving and improving lives by connecting organ and tissue donations to the patients who need them. TDS serves more than 6 million people in Tennessee and Virginia.
Tennessee residents can register as organ and tissue donors at BeTheGiftToday.com.