AUGUSTA – April is Donate Life month and to spread awareness, a celebration was held at the statehouse to demonstrate the importance of checking yes.
In 2016, over a thousand lives were saved in New England because of organ donors. While it may be a blessing for those individuals, there are 118,000 people on a waiting list for a transplant in the United States.
To help those numbers, the New England donor services is spreading awareness about the importance of checking yes to donate your organs.
“This is a great opportunity to truly save an individuals life,” said Matthew Boger, the state relations for New England Donor Services.
Every 10 minutes another person is added to the waiting list. While most people support organ donation, only 48 percent are actually signed up.
“We’re not searching for a cure. We know what that cure is,” said Boger, “If someone is no longer needing an organ, a.k.a, they passed away. Someone else can truly benefit from it.”
One person can donate up to eight lifesaving organs.
“We want people to register again. Either at the DMV or online.”
People who were believed to be without hope are now alive and well.
“I am here enjoying my family, grandchildren and life itself because some donor- someone I don’t even know gave this wonderful gift,” said John Coniaris, an organ recipient.
For Deborah Plamondon, because someone donated their organs, she was able to have a few more months with her husband Phil who needed a new lung. Unfortunately Phil passed away last year.
“He was also a donor. He always wanted to be one. He and I always sign up for organ donation,” she said, “When he passed away, we made sure he could use whatever organs that they could.”
“Our motto is donate life. We don’t want anyone to die,” said Boger, “That being said, if someone does pass away, there’s an opportunity to save someone else’s life and carry on the legacy of that individual through that wonderful gift of organ and tissue donation.”