April is National Donate Life Month!

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Today, more than 108,000 men, women and children still await the opportunity for renewed life through organ donation while hundreds of thousands more could benefit from the gift of tissue donation. By working with dedicated healthcare professionals like you, we can and will make a difference. Together, we can save more lives!

These days, Kathryn Smith might start her morning seeing patients, children with liver disease, as a pediatric transplant hepatologist at the University of California, San Francisco. That’s a far cry from her life just over 21 years ago, when Kathryn was on the other side of the stethoscope as a patient herself. Kathryn’s journey started when she became suddenly and violently ill from autoimmune hepatitis and her entire body, not just her liver, began to shut down. Doctors realized that Kathryn would need a new liver, kidney, pancreas, small intestine and stomach. In August 1999, she received all five lifesaving organs from a selfless donor. Kathryn received more than the gift of life that day, she also found her life’s calling. She was inspired to realize her dream to become Dr. Kathryn Smith and care for children before and after their liver transplants.

“It all paid off. Here I am. Alive and living my dream.”

This April, during the federally sanctioned National Donate Life Month, LifeLink of Georgia and (insert hospital name) honor the spirit of those individuals who make transplants possible—organ, eye, and tissue donors. We celebrate the lives of those who received their second chance and finally, we call attention to the more than 107,000 individuals, over 4,000 of whom are local men, women and children, still waiting for their gifts of life across the United States.

“Each year we work together with community partners to inform Georgians about the importance of organ and tissue donation,” says Dustin Diggs, FACHE, Executive Director, LifeLink of Georgia. “During Donate Life Month and every month, we share vital information about organ and tissue donation throughout the state and encourage every Georgian to learn the facts and commit to saving lives.”

Organ donation, with the primary exception of living kidney donation, takes place after death, and provides the gift of life to tens of thousands each year through heart, kidney, lung, liver, pancreas or intestine transplants. Without the generosity of organ donors those waiting will die. Register your decision to donate by visiting

www.DonateLifeGeorgia.org, when you get or renew your driver license or state identification card or when you obtain your hunting, fishing or trapping license through the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

LifeLink of Georgia is a non-profit community service organization dedicated to the recovery of organs and tissues for transplantation. Visit www.LifeLinkFoundation.org to learn more.

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