COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri Health Care will join Midwest Transplant Network and Heartland Lions Eye Banks in celebrating the lives of local donors and transplant recipients at a special Donate Life Month ceremony at noon, Friday, April 15, in the main lobby of University Hospital.
During the event, local donor families and transplant recipients will share their powerful stories of how organ, tissue and eye donation has touched their lives. Guests attending the event can register for the Missouri Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.
“This Donate Life Month event brings together donor families and recipients to meet and share their stories of how their lives were changed through donation and transplantation,” said Lori Kramer Clark, hospital services coordinator for Midwest Transplant Network.
Donor families participating in the event will make a two-dimensional decorated flower in memory of their loved ones that will be displayed in a shadow box in the University Hospital lobby. University of Missouri Health Care’s 2009 donor families will be presented a rose and certificate in recognition of their loved ones entry in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Roses representing each of the 80 donors from MU Health Care in 2009 were featured on the Donate Life float entry in the parade.
More than 28,000 lives are saved each year in the United States through the gift of organ donation. However, the need for transplantation continues to outpace the availability of organs. Nationally, more than 110,000 people are currently awaiting a life-saving transplant.
“Donate Life Month reminds all of us of the importance of joining Missouri’s Organ and Tissue Donor Registry,” said Kramer Clark. “Joining the registry is a selfless act that could forever change the life of a transplant recipient. A single organ and tissue donor can save and enhance the lives of more than 50 people.”
Missouri residents are encouraged to learn more about becoming donors by visiting the Midwest Transplant Network’s Web site at www.mwtn.org or signing up for the Missouri donor registry at www.missouriorgandonor.com.
Midwest Transplant Network partners with University Hospital to provide organ donation services to the community. Using collaborative teams, they educate the public, analyze data and identify methods to improve and maintain the donation services available to mid-Missourians.
In recognition of these collaborative efforts, University Hospital was awarded the 2010 Medal of Honor for Organ Donation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. University Hospital has won the Medal of Honor five consecutive years and is the only hospital in mid-Missouri to ever receive the award.
Midwest Transplant Network is an organ procurement organization. Founded in 1973, its mission is to provide quality transplantation-related services that will maximize the availability of organs and tissues to the community. The not-for-profit corporation serves Kansas and western Missouri.
Heartland Lions Eye Banks is a division of the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation with the mission to preserve and restore sight. Based in Columbia, Mo., Heartland Lions Eye Banks operates throughout Missouri and in parts of Illinois and Kansas, providing tissue corneal transplants worldwide.
As one of the state’s premier academic medical centers, University of Missouri Health Care provides highly specialized, multidisciplinary care to patients with the most severe illnesses and injuries from every county in the state. MU Health Care includes University Hospital and Clinics, MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute and the Missouri Psychiatric Center in Columbia, Mo., and the Missouri Rehabilitation Center, in Mount Vernon, Mo. Our academic partners include the MU School of Medicine, the Sinclair School of Nursing and the School of Health Professions.