The Association for Multicultural Affairs in Transplantation (AMAT) and Donate Life America (DLA) joined forces to develop Donate Life ECHO, which stands for Every Community Has Opportunity. It will be celebrated the second and third full weeks of each July (July 12 – 25, 2015), as a nationwide observance designed to reach multicultural communities. The new observance has two objectives: one is to focus on the power of sharing one’s personal decision to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor with members of one’s community; the second is to encourage registered donors to ask members of their personal networks and extended communities to talk about organ, eye and tissue donation and register as donors.
Through the ECHO concept of reiteration and repetition—with people sharing the life-affirming message of donation within their community—more lives will be saved and healed. Multicultural communities play a critical role in America’s transplant system. They save and heal lives as donors of organs, eyes and tissue, need lifesaving kidney transplants in disproportionately high numbers, and serve patients and families as healthcare professionals.
What can you do in to spread the word about organ, eye and tissue donation and get community members to register as donors? Below are some tools you can use in your community outreach efforts. Happy ECHOing!
Frequently Asked Questions, Talking Points and Statistics: English, Spanish
Registering to become an organ, eye or tissue donor in the state of Ohio is now easier than ever before thanks to the new “Swipe to Donate Life” technology!
This new technology allows Ohioans to become registered donors simply with a swipe of their driver’s license or state I.D. The card reader, which is attached to an iPad, will facilitate the registration process and allow for potential donors to register more quickly and efficiently than before. All organ, eye and tissue recovery agencies in the state of Ohio are now equipped with this new technology, including Community Tissue Services!
Here’s how it works: when a driver’s license is swiped, the screen will display that person’s donor status, and offer them several registration options. This technology eliminates the need to stand in long lines at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, as well the need for organizations to mail completed registration forms to the BMV. The “Swipe to Donate Life” technology will be now be available at any public education or donation awareness event to help anyone become a registered donor with ease.
Ohio is only the second state to adopt this new technology, and hopefully will not be the last! The need for registered donors is greater than ever before, and each donor who registers has the ability to change the lives of 50 people through tissue donation!
We are happy to recognize and celebrate the month of March as National Eye Donor Month! Since 1983, the month of March is officially recognized by Congress as National Eye Donor Month. Each year, this month is recognized in a special way to promote awareness of the need to donate eyes, to recognize donors and their families and to celebrate corneal recipients.
The need for corneal donors is very high and continues to climb each year. Only about 50,000 corneal transplants are performed in the United States each year, and only a total of 100,000 worldwide, due to a lack of access to donor tissue. It is estimated that up to 10 million people across the world suffer from corneal blindness, and could have their vision restored through a transplant using donor tissue. Corneal blindness may be caused by accidents or diseases damaging the front of the eye. When the rest of the eye functions fully, the cornea is the only part of the eye needed to restore sight.
By commemorating donors and recipients of corneal transplants, the goal of National Eye Donor Month is to promote awareness for the need to register to become an organ, eye and tissue donor. Let’s all do our part to make this the most successful National Eye Donor Month yet, and help to spread the word!!