By Senator Patty Ritchie
April is Donate Life Month, a time when we not only are asked to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation, but also encouraged to register to become a donor and perhaps, save a life.
My family learned about the power of organ donation personally.
When my father was in need of a new kidney, we waited for the call to let us know a donor match had been found.
The moment we found out a match was identified was one of the happiest of my life.
Each day, my family counts our blessings that someone gave my father the gift of life.
Currently, there are 121,000 people across our country on the organ transplant waiting list, with more names being added every day.
Unfortunately, the list is so long, some never receive the transplant they need.
It is estimated that each person registered to become an organ donor has the potential to save up to eight lives.
That same donor can help up to 75 more people by donating tissue, which can restore eyesight, help battle infections in burn patients and prevent the loss of mobility.
During Donate Life Month, there are two special days that will help further stress the importance of organ donation:
National Blue and Green Day: Taking place on April 12, the public will be encouraged to wear blue and green, and special events will be held throughout the country to promote the need for more organ, eye and tissue donations.
National Pediatric Transplant Week: From April 22 through the 26, a special focus will be placed on ending the pediatric transplant waiting list.
Organ donation is one of the most selfless decisions a person can make.
During National Donate Life Month, please consider enrolling in the Donate Life New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.
You can do so by visiting my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.