Organ Donation: Things to Consider

National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was established in 2003 as a way celebrate those who have saved lives by becoming organ, eye, and tissue donors. Celebrated each April, NDLM, encourages Americans to give the gift of life. You can save up to eight lives by becoming an organ donor. Lifesaving organs include heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys, and intestines. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to become an organ donor:


  • As of January 2019, there were more than 113,000 people on the United States transplant waiting list.
  • Another person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.
  • 20 people waiting for a transplant die each day.


  • There is no age limit to become an organ donor. In fact, one third of organ donors in 2018 were over the age of 50.
  • Everyone, regardless of medical history, can register to become an organ donor. Transplant teams determine if organ donation is possible at the time of death.
  • Most major religions in the U.S. support organ donation. Read more about religion and organ donation here.
  • There is no cost associated with organ, eye, or tissue donation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can be donated?

  • Organs: kidneys, liver, lungs, heart, pancreas, and intestines
  • Eyes: corneas and sclera
  • Tissues: heart valves, skin, bone, and tendons

How are donors and recipients matched?

  • The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) operates a database of U.S. patients waiting for a transplant. There are many factors considered when matching the donor’s organs to potential recipients. These factors include, but are not limited to: blood type, body size, severity of patient’s medical condition, distance between the donor’s hospital and the patient’s hospital, and the patient’s waiting time. Read more about the matching process here.

How do I register?