We are now in the middle of April, and if you haven’t already heard, April is National Donate Life Month.  Since 2003, the nation comes together during this month each year to encourage individuals to become registered as an organ donor, as well as to celebrate the lives that have been saved because of organ donation.  Becoming an organ donor is one of the greatest sacrifices you can make to help save the life of another human being by giving them the gift of life itself.

Over 33,000 transplants were done in 2016 that brought renewed life to patients, with organs coming from both living and deceased donors.  Every 10 minutes, a new person is added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list.  Unfortunately, about 22 people die each day because they did not receive the organs they needed in time.  One person could save eight lives by becoming an organ donor, and even more with tissue donation.

Many people may not realize that you can save a life while you are still living.  Living organ donation offers a much quicker alternative than waiting for a deceased donor’s organs, and it allows more organs to be distributed to those in need.  Both kidney and liver donations can be conducted while the donor is alive.  There are 82% of patients waiting for a kidney transplant, and 13% of patients waiting for a liver.  Most people are born with two kidneys, but can actually survive with just one.  A healthy liver has the capability of regenerating itself, so half of your liver can be put inside someone else, and both of you will have full-size livers within a matter of months.  Over 6,000 transplants in 2017 were made possible thanks to living donors.

Even if you signed up to be an organ donor on your driver’s license, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are a registered organ donor on the official donor registry, nor does it mean that your organs will definitely be preserved upon your passing.  That little red heart symbol on your identification card merely represents your wishes, but those final intentions must be confirmed with your family upon your death.  If you are enrolled on the donor registry and you have shared your intent with your family members, you will have the final say in what happens with your organs.

If you sign up with RegisterMe.org, this National Donate Life Registry will travel with you no matter where you live.  Each state does have its own state donor registry, but by signing up through this website, you won’t have to re-register on a state-by-state basis, as was previously the case.  You can log in at any time to update your profile, specify donation restrictions, or remove your registration.

A great way to get involved with this incredible opportunity to be a part of saving another’s life is through Taylor’s Gift.  They are an incredible organization that can help you get connected as an organ donor or as a transplant recipient.  Through Taylor’s Gift, you have the opportunity to support families who have been impacted by organ donation by partnering with them to provide financial support to families who have lost their loved ones.  More often than not, organ donation is the result of an unexpected, tragic event.  Families may lose their primary source of income and not have enough money to cover funeral and burial expenses for their deceased family member.  Taylor’s Gift helps provide food, clothing, shelter, and financial assistance in whatever way necessary to provide families the means for making it through these difficult times.  Over 200 families have been impacted by their Legacy Gift program.  You can learn more about their foundation and read their impactful story on their website.

To learn more about organ, eye, tissue, and living donation, please visit DonateLife.net.  To register as an organ donor, please visit RegisterMe.org.  What greater gift can you give than the opportunity to save another’s life.  Taylor’s Gift puts it perfectly:  What can you do to “Outlive Yourself?”



Kalinda Dunn

Kalinda Dunn

Client Experience Hero

Kalinda joined AG Insurance in 2015 as the only logical next step after completing her Master's Degree in Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta. 

We needed a great mind and a super talented individual to help us take the client experience to a whole new level--and that is just one little aspect of how Kalinda enhances to our team.  From Wellness programs to claims analysis and pharma trends, she's the guru.  She's also the guru on our project management software, writing assignments, client education, and content-rich marketing initiatives.  

Being raised in a family of Physical Therapists, it is only natural that she applies that upbringing to whip our team into shape as one of our top organizational leaders and a dominant voice for the next generation in Employee Benefits.

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