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Record Number of People Say Yes to Donation in 2005

When asked if they would save a life if they had the opportunity to do so, ninety percent of people say they would do what they could to help someone.

When asked if they would save a life if they had the opportunity to do so, ninety percent of people say they would do what they could to help someone. Last year 493 generous people in the Upper Midwest did just that, turning tragedy into hope by extending the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. This unprecedented number sets a record for the region with a 56 percent increase over 2004.

While the cause for the increase is speculative until a final review is complete, donation officials credit the increase in donation to more than generosity. Susan Gunderson, Chief Executive Officer of LifeSource states “On behalf of everyone touched by donation and transplantation, I extend my sincere gratitude to all donors and their families for the hope they provide others. Although this generosity is the foundation of donation and transplantation, so, too, is the relationship with hospital partners and the role of public education and increased awareness. Our life-saving work would not be possible without the steadfast support of our dedicated hospital partners.”

This support is exemplified by the participation of some hospitals in the Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative, a highly successful national initiative designed to increase the number of lives saved through transplantation. Regionally, the following hospitals are part of the Breakthrough Collaborative: Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN; North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, MN; Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, MN; and Sioux Valley Hospital USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD. All four hospitals received a national award in 2005 for increasing life-saving donation rates during the Collaborative.

Additionally, public education in driver’s education and health classes, faith-based and minority-directed outreach and volunteer presence at public and private sector events all lead to increased awareness about the critical need for donation and transplantation. Nationally, more than 90,000 people are waiting for a solid organ transplant and countless others are in need of a tissue transplant. One donor can save or enhance up to 60 lives through donation, which is why each opportunity to save lives is critical. The best way for a person to document their wish to be a donor is to designate it on their drivers’ license and share their wishes with their family.

LifeSource is the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation in the Upper Midwest. The LifeSource service area covers Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and portions of western Wisconsin.