The Wright Center Encourages Donating for National Donor Day Members News January 29, 2024 The Wright Center promotes the upcoming National Donor Day, which is observed every year on Feb. 14. Also on Valentine’s Day, The Wright Center encourages individuals to take a moment on that lovely day to consider the many benefits of donation, organ and otherwise. Started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and the United Auto Workers, with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Donor Day focuses on spreading awareness about organ, eye, tissue, blood, platelets, and marrow donation. The day also recognizes those who have given and received the gift of life through donation, who are currently waiting for a transplant, and who have tragically passed away while awaiting a donation. It’s a highly noble cause, especially when considering the critical need for the many types of donation. Statistics always put things in perspective, so here are a few to ponder, courtesy of the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance: A new name is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes; An average of 20 people die every day waiting for a transplant; One organ donor can save up to eight lives; A single donor can restore eyesight to two people; 70 percent of bone marrow patients don’t have a matching donor in their family; Every 30 seconds, someone needs platelets, which are essential for patients battling cancer, chronic diseases, and traumatic injuries; Roughly every two seconds, someone requires a blood transfusion, which, taken as a whole, equates to more than 41,000 daily donations. Of course, I should note that registering as an organ and tissue donor means thinking about events that will transpire after your death, which, for most people, isn’t the easiest thing to contemplate. That’s why discussing these matters with your loved ones is important, ensuring your wishes are understood and honored. Want to learn more about becoming a donor here in Pennsylvania? Visit donatelifepa.org, the website for Donate Life Pennsylvania, a collaboration between the Gift of Life Donor Program, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education, and the state Departments of Health and Transportation. The initiative is funded by voluntary contributions made via driver’s license renewals, vehicle registrations, and state income tax filings that are then used by the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund to inform state residents about the importance of organ and tissue donation and to increase the number of people who sign up to become donors on their driver’s license, learner’s permit, or state identification card. Among its big advocacy events is the annual PA Donor Day, which we at The Wright Center have proudly supported and will continue to support. To read more about our advocacy efforts, go to TheWrightCenter.org/our-stories. Becoming a donor is, as the people at Donate Life Pennsylvania put it, “the greatest gift you can give.” So, if you haven’t become one yet, please consider it seriously. It’s truly an excellent way to make a difference in this world. Dr. Timothy Burke, is a board-certified internal medicine physician. He accepts adult patients at The Wright Center for Community Health Mid Valley and Scranton practices. Dr. Burke is also the associate program director of The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s Internal Medicine Residency.