Make a Difference by Being an Organ Donor

April 4, 2018

Did you know that an astounding 115,000 people in United States are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant? Because of the overwhelming need of donors, in 2003, Donate Life America instituted April as National Donate Life Month to encourage Americans to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor.

According to Donate Life America, every 10 minutes someone is added to the waiting list. Unfortunately, someone dies every hour because they did not receive a lifesaving organ in time. These shocking statistics prove just how important it is to make the decision about becoming a registered organ donor.

Maya Angelou’s quote “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud” was the inspiration behind this year’s artwork for National Donate Life Month. The rainbow represents “hope and comfort” after a storm. Donate Life’s website states that “the vibrant Donate Life rainbow in the National Donate Life Month artwork rises from stormy clouds, recognizing that it takes both rain and light to create the gift of a rainbow.”

A little more than half of the US population are registered organ, eye and tissue donors. It’s hard to comprehend and appreciate the result of making that decision until you’ve experienced it firsthand.

Gail Brewer, Wilson Medical Center’s Director of Quality & Outcomes Management, understands the significant impact that organ donation can make on someone else’s life. Gail’s late husband Ronny was a bone donor; according to Donate Life America, one tissue donor can benefit more than 75 people.

Ronny’s donation impacted the life of an individual who was involved in a car accident several years ago and crushed the bone in her leg. The donor recipient wrote a heartfelt note to Gail to thank her. In the letter she writes, “I am now able to walk and jog and hike all over the mountains again. I will forever be grateful for the bone donation by your loved one.”

Gail says it’s easy to feel like you’re overwhelmed with everything when you lose a loved one. But as she reflects now, four years later, she says she’s glad she decided to go through the organ donation process.

“When you get a note like that, you think ‘Wow, I’m so glad I took the time to go through the process.’ It really does make a difference.” Gail says.

If you’re interested in learning more about organ donation, or to register, visit

“Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” –Maya Angelou