100,000 People Waiting – What It All Means

Last week, I asked Dave Bosch, our Director of Communications here at Gift of Hope, to weigh in with a guest blog post about his thoughts on the national transplant waiting list crossing 100,000. Check out Dave’s thoughts below.

-Joslyn

Dave Bosch

Dave Bosch

Numbers are a funny thing. In golf, you work for a low number; in most other sports, you hope for a high number. The world of donation and transplant has a similar numeric duality. We want the number of organs we recover for transplant to be high. On the flip side, we want the number of people waiting for an organ transplant to be low. Unfortunately, the inverse is our reality.

Recently the number of people registered on the national organ transplant waiting list topped 100,000. And another name is added every 13 minutes.

When I started working at Gift of Hope nearly 13 years ago, I remember learning that more than 44,000 people were waiting for an organ transplant. The number was incomprehensible to me because I just couldn’t grasp how we were going to get enough organs for all of those people? Over time, the list kept growing, and growing, and growing. And my frustration grew along with it! I was working hard – side-by-side with so many other dedicated people in our community – to eliminate the waiting list, and we were losing ground.

And now this!

This is not a game, and high numbers here don’t signal victory.

Please take a minute to mourn the sad news that there are now 100,000 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Take the next minute to register to be a donor (if you haven’t already), and then take another minute to email all of your friends and encourage them to register too!

Together, we can make a difference in helping save these lives.

-Dave

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10 Responses to 100,000 People Waiting – What It All Means

  1. dju316 says:

    America needs two transplant waiting lists: the ‘A’ list for registered organ donors and the ‘B’ list for people who have not agreed to donate.

    If the United Network for Organ Sharing, which runs the national organ allocation system, allocated organs first to registered organ donors, then more people would donate and thousands of lives would be saved every year. UNOS should make this announcement: “Over 100,000 Americans are now waiting for organ transplants, and more than half of these people will die waiting. Just about everyone would accept a transplant if they needed one, but only about 50 percent of Americans have agreed to donate their own organs when they die. So beginning on July 1, 2009, UNOS will establish two waiting lists for transplant recipients. The ‘A’ list will be for people who have been registered organ donors for at least six months and for infants less than six months old who were registered as organ donors by their parents at birth. The ‘B’ list will be for everyone else. All organs will be allocated first to people on the ‘A’ list. Organs will be made available to people on the ‘B’ list only if not needed by any registered organ donor.”

    In response to this announcement, just about everyone in the United States who was not already a registered organ donor would register. The supply of transplantable organs would go way up, and thousands of lives would be saved every year. Very few people would refuse to donate their organs when they died if they knew it would reduce their chances of getting a transplant should they ever need one to live.

    Allocating organs first to organ donors will also make the transplant system fairer.

    People who want to donate their organs to other organ donors don’t have to wait for UNOS to change its allocation rules. They can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers members agree to offer their organs first to other members when they die, if any member is a suitable match. Membership is free at http://www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

  2. […] 100000 People Waiting – What It All Means […]

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  5. Eric Stephenson says:

    I am willing to accept a good donation for my kidney or anything else I don’t need, Anyone in need of anything just email me at ericstephenson1@Hotmail.com

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