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April Is Donate Life Month

By Staff | Apr 14, 2009

The good health that most of us enjoy is, unfortunately, often taken for granted. There are many people in our communities and our county who do not enjoy that same good health. In some cases, their lives are dependent: on medications or treatments, and in extreme cases, on transplant technology.

The month of April is now recognized as National Organ and Tissue Donation Month, and for one Emmetsburg woman, the observation has a special meaning. Cindy Baker received a kidney and pancreas transplant on December 23, 1998, and since that time, continues to give of her time and energy to make people aware of the importance of tissue and organ donation and the ‘gift of life’ that such donations provide.

“I have celebrated my tenth anniversary of my kidney/pancreas transplant this past December,” Baker noted. “As of today there are 800,462 Iowans who have signed on to the Iowa Donor Registry. Have you?”

Baker continued, “This is my contribution to let other know just how important it is to donate the ‘Gift of Life’ and to recognize these donors and families that have given the ‘Gift of Life’, because they are the true heroes, along with the transplant doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists and care0givers in the medical field.”

The need for organ donations is immense. In Iowa alone, 553 people are waiting on transplant lists for organs as of April 1. In Iowa, there are 21 people waiting for heart transplants’ 17 waiting for kidney/pancreas transplants; 56 waiting for liver transplants; five persons waiting for pancreas transplants; 448 patients waiting for kidney transplants and six people waiting for lung transplants.

The need is ongoing and critical, as every 12 minutes of the day and night, another name is added to the National Transplant List. Sadly enough, an average of 17 people per day run out of time and die because of a lack of available organs for those life-saving transplants.

“If you want to make a difference in your live, learn the facts about organ and tissue donation, so we can destroy the myths of donation,” Baker noted, “so that the people waiting for their ‘Gift of Life’ or life enhancing transplants do not have to wait as long. What a great way to leave a legacy!”

Everyone is urged to discuss the idea of organ and tissue donation with his or her families, and to register online with the Iowa Donor Registry and carry an organ donor card. To learn more, go to any of these websites: