Porter Regional Hospital celebrated those who have a second chance at life and the selfless sacrifices of those who helped give that life during National Donate Life Month. Right now, there are more than 1,300 Indiana residents on the transplant waiting list and 121,000 Americans throughout the country who are waiting for a life-saving transplant as well.
Each year, Porter holds a special ceremony to commemorate the month and to spread the word about the need for donors as the numbers are growing each year. A sizable crowd gathers for the event and it’s made up of hospital staff, family and friends of donors, and recipients. The Donate Life flag was hoisted up into the air in front of the hospital to start things off.
Following this, Porter CEO Steven Lunn read a proclamation that declared April 6, 2016 as Porter Regional Hospital Donor Awareness Day.
“There is an urgent need for organ, tissue, and cornea donation in Indiana and throughout the United States, and therefore a need to promote a greater understanding about the life-saving benefits of donation and transplantation. Porter Regional Hospital and Indiana Donor Network are committed to addressing that need through enhances community awareness.” Lunn read.
Kathy Lewis, organ donor advocate, was a kidney transplant recipient. She waited for two years on the transplant list before an organ was available for her. This year in March she celebrated her nine-year anniversary since she received her transplant.
“I’m here today because someone put on their driver’s license that they wanted to become an organ donor,” Lewis said. “The first thing I do every morning when I get up is thank my donor for the gift of another day.”
“Since 2003 we have been honoring donor heroes and their families for the gifts that they have given as well as to spread awareness,” Jessica Gnoth, Professional Services Coordinator for the Indiana Donor Network said. “This topic hasn’t always been so widespread, but now we are making the upward swing and getting the word out there.”
“I think that nothing highlights our purpose better than this event,” Lunn said. “We’re here to help people, bring awareness, and give them hope in their greatest times of need. I think that speaks directly of our mission here at Porter and we’re thrilled to be part of it and this is special for me as this is one of the first things I every took part in when I came to Porter.”
There are many more people out there who are waiting for a life-saving eye, organ, or tissue transplant. If you aren’t a registered donor, you can register on http://indianadonornetwork.org/ and find out more information about becoming an organ donor.