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Donate Life Colorado: Be an Organ & Tissue Donor

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Each year organ and tissue donation saves thousands of lives in Colorado and across the United States helping people walk again, see again, and recover from severe burns and other injuries and illnesses.

• In Colorado & Wyoming, more than 2,100 people are currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant
• 21 percent of current transplant candidates in Colorado have been on the waiting list for 5 years or more
• Today, more than 112,000 people are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants nationally — an average of 245 people are added to the waiting list each month
• Transplantable organs include: heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas and small intestine
• Tissues that are transplantable include: bone, tendons and corneas as well veins, valves and skin
• One organ donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and more than 100 lives through tissue donation
• Every year, the lives of about 500,000 Americans are saved by organ and tissue donation

Join Today! Be a Donor

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A main barrier preventing more adults from consenting to become organ and tissue donors are myths about donation, which unfortunately many people believe are true. Answers: (taken from CO survey of non-registered donors, and why they don’t register)

Myths to bust and common excuses to avoid:

“I just haven’t thought about it.”

“I always thought my family would decide.”

“I have diabetes. I didn’t realize I could still donate”

“I’ve been too busy to sign up.”

“I didn’t think I could donate at my age.”

“If I’m a donor, doctors may not try as hard to save my life”

“My family will have to pay to cover the costs of donating my organs”

“It is possible for a brain dead person to recover from his or her injuries”

“My religion doesn’t allow it”

“After donating an organ or tissue, a closed casket funeral is the only option”

“Wealthy people and celebrities can move up the waiting list for an organ transplant more quickly”

“It’s a big process to register to become an organ and tissue donor”

Links and Resources

Donor Alliance encourages family members and loved ones to use the links below to obtain information regarding laws surrounding the Donate Life Colorado and Wyoming Organ and Tissue Donor Registries.

2006 Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA)

Uniform Law Commission

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

In addition…

There are many additional organizations and online resources dedicated to educating and offering outreach for those interested in organ and tissue donation. Find Out More!

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Experience real-life stories

You have the power to change someone’s world by being a donor.
“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”

robin Donate LifeAmy | Donor Mother
There is nothing more devastating than losing a child. But in the midst of her loss, Amy made a decision that ultimately saved many lives. Amy’s daughter Nicole, donated her heart, liver and kidneys to people in severe need of a life-saving transplant. Because of this generous gift, numerous people were given a second chance at life.
Mandee is one of those who was given a second chance at life as a result of Nicole’s gift. Mandee had suffered from a congenital heart defect since birth. But after receiving Nicole’s heart, Mandee now has a new lease on life. In 2003, Mandee was a bridesmaid in Nicole’s sister’s wedding.

“Donor Alliance has been a great lifeline for me,” explained Amy. “They were there for our family during our grief and they serve as a support to us today. I feel that I too am living again since Nicole’s death. Knowing Nicole saved so many lives through her gifts, I feel such peace and calmness and in my heart.”

amy Donate LifeRobin | Donor Mother
Robin and her 22-year-old son Joseph were best friends and he was not afraid to let everyone know it. While some kids might be embarrassed that their mom worked in the high school cafeteria, Joe wasn’t. He would hug his mom in the middle of the school day. When he was diagnosed with epilepsy in the fall of 2007, Joe made a pact with his mom that whenever he thought he was about to have a seizure he would call her, as he always knew before it happened. On December 30, 2007, Joe called his mom at 9:45 a.m.

“Fortunately, I had not gone to church that morning, like I usually do, because I wouldn’t have gotten his call,” said Robin. “We were on the phone for 10 minutes when I heard the phone drop and Joe passed out.” Joe was pronounced dead on January 1, 2008.

Joe had discussed his decision to be an organ donor with his mom several months before he died. It came as no surprise to Robin and the rest of Joe’s family because he always tried to help others. Joe could light up a room with his boisterous laughter, his great big bear hugs or his constant smile. Not to mention, he stood strong beside his life motto “One Love” which was adopted from a Bob Marley song. Joe’s initial decision to register to be an organ donor at the age of 15 helped save and heal the lives of seven people.

Since Joe’s death, Robin has become an advocate working to educate the public about the need for and the benefits of organ and tissue donation. She is currently teaming with Donor Alliance and the American Transplant Foundation to spearhead the creation of an organ and tissue donation license plate. The Donate Life license plate will be available for purchase on January 1, 2010 – the two-year anniversary of Joe’s death.
“I do this because it is how I keep Joe’s memory alive. It also helps me cope, which is one of the biggest things,” explains Robin.

tucker and brynn sept 2011 150 Donate LifeColin | Two-time Liver Recipient
As a father of two energetic children with a blossoming medical career and a loving marriage with his wife, Alisabeth, anyone looking at Colin would never know that he was once in desperate need of a lifesaving liver transplant.

After a routine medical exam in his twenties, Colin found out that he had a rare liver ailment known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Five years after his initial diagnosis, Colin was placed on the waiting list and received a liver transplant. However, less than a month after his transplant it was evident he would need a second transplant. He received another liver transplant in May of 1998. This transplant saved his life and today Colin is active and healthy.

Colin now volunteers with the Donor Alliance as a living testament to the importance of organ and tissue donation. “Thanks to my donors, I’ve been given two chances at life,” Colin said.

click here to read other stories of hope

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Join the 67 percent of Coloradans who have already said yes! By registering on the Donate Life Colorado Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, you can save lives through organ and tissue donation! You can designate your decision to be an organ and tissue donor regardless of your age or health condition. Saying yes when receiving or renewing your driver’s license or state ID card, or by filling out the form on this web site, you can make sure your decision to be a donor will be honored at the time of your death.

Find Out More:

What does joining the registry mean?
Is my driver’s license or ID card enough?
Can I take my name off the registry?

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You are not too old or unhealthy to save lives. Regardless of your age or health you can still say ‘yes’ to being an organ, eye and tissue donor. You can register to be a donor even if you have suffered from common diseases like cancer, diabetes or heart disease.
Take a minute and join today!
Before you fill out the online enrollment form please take a few minutes to make sure you understand what it means to be on the registry:
Being on the Donate Life Colorado Registry means that you have elected to have all of your organs and tissues made available for transplant and/or research at the time of your death.
If you wish to only donate certain organs and/or tissue, you may list restrictions when filling out the online registry form on this site [in the ‘any additional comments’ section; please no commentary]. Single restrictions are recorded in the donor registry.
You understand that every attempt will be made to transplant your organs and tissues when and where possible and sometimes for medical reasons organs and tissues cannot be transplanted and may be used for research.
Even though your name is in the registry, your family may still be contacted by a coordinator at the time of your death and asked if they would like to make the decision to donate on your behalf.
Once we have received your online enrollment form you will be sent a notification card by mail acknowledging that you have been added to the registry. PLEASE NOTE: Due to the fact we do not have your signature on file, please sign and mail the confirmatory card back in for our files. YOU WILL NOT BE ADDED TO THE ONLINE REGISTRY UNTIL WE HAVE YOUR SIGNATURE ON FILE.
If you have any questions or would prefer to receive an enrollment form by mail please contact us at 303-329-4747 or 1-888-256-4386.