Organ Donation: The Heart of the Matter

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National Donate Life Month

Provided by Washington Regional Transplant Community

Junious Jefferson

Yvette Jefferson of Woodbridge is doing her part to raise awareness about the critical importance of organ donation. Years ago, Yvette’s father Junious was in end-stage heart failure and passed away while waiting for a heart transplant. Since her father’s lifesaving gift didn’t come in time, Yvette has become a Donate Life ambassador to encourage others to register to be a donor to save another person’s life.

“I believe in organ donation. If my father had received a new heart, he would probably still be alive today making memories with our family,” said Yvette. “My goal is to educate people in my community about donation, and to let them know they can leave a legacy after death by giving the gift of life to someone else.”

Yvette Jefferson

April is National Donate Life Month. The public is encouraged to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation. Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) is the local non-profit organ procurement organization responsible for facilitating the donation process. Despite the pandemic, WRTC continues to recover and allocate organs from deceased donors if they test negative for COVID-19. WRTC is working with its hospital partners and transplant centers to ensure as many patients receive lifesaving transplants as possible during this unprecedented medical crisis.

Currently, there are more than 107,000 patients on the national transplant waiting list who need a kidney, heart, lungs, pancreas, liver, or intestine. More than 2,000 of those people live locally in the metro D.C. area. There is no medicine or magic pill they can take to live. A transplant is the only cure, and that is why the Donate Life mission must always continue.

One organ, eye and tissue donor could save up to eight lives and heal 75 patients. One thing people can do to make a difference during the pandemic is to register to be a donor at RegisterMe.org.

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