LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (April 1, 2023) – In honor of National Donate Life Month, ARORA, Arkansas’ largest organ and tissue recovery nonprofit joins dozens of other agencies in the United States in conducting outreach initiatives to help close the gap between the over 100,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and the less than 60% of registered donors nationwide.
“Registering to become a donor is simple, and it’s the gift of a lifetime,” said Mark Tudor, president and CEO of ARORA. “It gives hope to the more than 100,000 Americans, including more than 300 Arkansans, who are waiting on life-saving transplants.”
In 2023, ARORA is focusing outreach on increasing the number of registered donors in Arkansas, which brings hope to the 300+ Arkansans waiting for a transplant. Particularly, people of color face a greater risk of needing an organ transplant and due to the gap in available donors, they are less likely to be matched with an eligible donor.
Donate Life Month is a time to shine a spotlight on the discrepancies that people of color face when they’re placed on the transplant waitlist. While organ recipients are not determined by race, compatible blood types and tissue markers are critical qualities for donor-recipient matching, and are more likely to be found within members of the same ethnic group.
“Every day, 17 people in the United States die waiting for a transplant. By registering as an organ donor, individuals can make a lifesaving difference for those in need,” said ARORA Director of Communications Audrey Coleman. “One organ donor can save up to eight lives, and one tissue donor can enhance the lives of more than 75 recipients.”
Despite credible research and information, myths persist that make people think they cannot register as donors. ARORA’s 2023 initiatives include greater outreach to communities across Arkansas, focusing on debunking the myths and misconceptions that prevent people from registering as donors.
ARORA encourages everyone to consider themselves eligible to register as a donor, as the eligibility of organ recovery will be determined at the time of death. In fact, more people are needed to register as donors because of the eligible donors, only three of every 1000 have recoverable organs or tissue for transplantation.
“Donation offers a legacy of hope to donor families; hope that their loved one’s generosity makes a positive impact in people’s lives,” said Tudor. “A donor’s gift reaches beyond the recipients, to their families and communities, such that the true impact can never fully be known.”
National Donate Life Month is observed every April to encourage Americans to register as organ, tissue, and eye donors and to celebrate the lives saved through donation. According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, there are currently over 108,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in the United States.
ARORA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation in Arkansas. Since its founding in 1987, ARORA has facilitated thousands of organ and tissue donations, saving countless lives in the state and beyond.
ARORA recently announced that they recovered more organs in 2022 than any other year in its three-decade history, surpassing its 2021 record year. The agency reported 149 organ donors and 347 organs transplanted in 2022, representing a 49% increase in donors and 10% increase in transplants from 2021. These data made ARORA one of the country’s fastest improving organ procurement agencies during a period of rapid and dramatic transformation in the initiative.
To learn more about ARORA and organ and tissue donation, go to www.arora.org or follow ARORA on Facebook at Donate Life Arkansas, Instagram @donatelifearkansas, TikTok and Twitter @donatelifeAR.
FACTS & STATISTICS
- Roughly 300 Arkansans are on the transplant waiting list.
- 62% of eligible Arkansas residents are registered as organ donors.
- More than 100,000 people are on the national waiting list for an organ transplant. Another person is added every 9 minutes.
- One organ donor can donate up to eight transplantable organs: heart, lungs, pancreas, kidneys and small intestine. One tissue donor can impact 100 or more lives, through the gifts of skin, cornea, ligaments, cartilage, vein, bone and heart valves.
- In 2021, nearly 20,400 donors brought new life to recipients and their families nationwide.
- 6,000 people die each year (on average 17 people each day) because the organs they need are not donated in time.
ARORA was established in 1987 as a nonprofit, accredited organ procurement agency. Serving 64 counties across the state, ARORA is headquartered in Little Rock and has a satellite office in northwest Arkansas. ARORA’s mission is to restore lives through the recovery of organs and tissue for transplant.