Our View: Feb. 14 about more than Valentine’s

Published 12:15 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019

While many reserve Feb. 14 for romance and love, there is arguably a more notable recognition slated for Thursday.

Feb. 14 also marks National Donor Day, a time to increase awareness about organ donation and the lives that can be saved.

National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners, with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health organizations.

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In the United States, more than 120,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ donation.

Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for more than 41,000 daily donations.

Currently more than 1,000 people are awaiting a lifesaving transplant in Kentucky, and every day, 22 people die waiting for an organ transplant.

National Donor Day focuses on five types of donations: organ, tissue, marrow, platelets and blood.

Clark County leads the state in the number of registered donors. In Clark County, 96 percent of all registered drivers are organ donors, according to Trust for Life.

The Kentucky Circuit Clerks’ Trust for Life was started in Clark County by former circuit clerk Whitey Walson more than 30 years ago, which means advocacy for organ donations has a long and strong history in our community.

While we boast a huge percentage of generous residents who have made the decision to become organ donors, there are still many others who have not registered or may not know how to register.

Becoming a donor can be as easy as signing up to have a heart added to your drivers license when you renew your license at the Circuit Clerk’s office.

If you do not have a license, you can also sign up to be a donor at registerme.org.

For more information about becoming a donor, visit donatelifenw.org and organdonor.gov for more information on organ donation. There are no health or age limits for donors.

If you are already registered, take this opportunity to talk to others about the importance of lifesaving organ and tissue donations, make sure your wishes are communicated to your family members and loved ones.

This year as we focus on Valentine’s Day, let’s also look at how we can show love in one of the most profound ways by becoming organ and tissue donors.