Health Watch: Alaskans save lives for National Donate Life Month

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Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 6:37 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -Established in 2003 by Donate Life America, National Donate Life Month is observed every year in April. This event exists to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors. As well as to honor the people who have already saved human lives through the gift of organ donation.

“In 2003 they said, we want to take this month to celebrate this incredible gift of life. The reason why organ donation is important, why it’s important to have active engaged citizens is that we have approximately 145 Alaskans waiting on organ donation registry lists at present. Currently 78 percent of all Alaskans are registered donors and I think that’s pretty incredible. That represents over 500,000 people,” said Stevens.

In 2021 alone Fairbanks residents have been responsible for saving 12 lives due to organ donation.

Statewide we have 22 lives that have been saved through Alaska citizens. So I think that represents some pretty incredible numbers and again, really want to take time to say, one somebodies very very worst day, there is some good that comes out of this. And that is giving somebody and extra chance,” said Stevens.

Donor registration can be done online at Alaska Donor Registry website here, or as part of the drivers license acquisition process at the DMV.

“I think it’s really important that family members have conversations with their loved ones frequently and often to just discuss what they would want in the event of an unexpected tragic event. Taking that pressure off your family members to make those decisions for you at the end of life. So either through a living will, or active donor registry I think is very very important to do. So if I could leave you with anything it would just be to encourage making your wishes known,” said Stevens.

For more information on how to participate in National Donate Life Month click here.

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