This year the national organ donation charity Live Life Give Life are supporting the NHS Blood and Transplant’s campaign —”What are you waiting for” — in the hope that it will encourage and inspire people in England and Northern Ireland who have not joined the NHS Organ Donor Register because, as their research revealed, they simply “haven’t got round to it”.
The campaigners are aiming to encourage more young people to donate blood and join the organ donors list. Research has shown that only 35 per cent of people willing to donate are actually registered to give blood, hence the campaign’s urgency in recruiting new donors.
The charity is specifically urging people to join the Donor Register this Christmas, arguing that “Christmas gifts do not come any better than the Gift of Life”.
Eilis Hall, a post grad student at the University of Manchester, became a national advocate of the campaign after she lost her cousin in 2012 to pulmonary hypertension. Eilis stated that her cousin, Geraldine, “survived on medication for nine years, waiting in vain for the lifesaving gift of a new heart and set of lungs”. Geraldine passed away aged just 19.
According to the charity, every day across the UK, around three people who could have benefited from a transplant die because there are not enough organ donors. There are currently around 6,500 people on the transplant waiting list.
Sarah Jones, a Trustee of Give Life Live Life said: “Almost all of us would take an organ if we needed one, however less than one-third of us have actually signed the organ donor register. By taking just a few minutes to sign up, you could save up to nine lives after you’ve gone. Organ donation could affect anyone; it’s vital that people take the time to think about it and talk to their families about their wishes. That will save them a lot of angst at an already difficult time.”
If you are interested in becoming involved you can sign the organ donor register online at www.organdonation.nhs.uk or contact their phone line on 0300 123 23 23.
For further information visit www.livelifegivelife.org.uk.