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Published on April 17, 2013

Donate Life Month Honors Organ Transplant Donors, Recipients

COLUMBIA, Mo. — University of Missouri Health Care will join Midwest Transplant Network and Heartland Lions Eye Banks in celebrating the lives of local organ donors and transplant recipients during a Donate Life Month ceremony noon, Friday, April 19, at the MU Women’s and Children’s Hospital Conference Center, 404 Keene St.

“Each year, this event brings donor families and recipients together to share their experiences of how their lives were changed through donation and transplantation,” said Lori Kramer Clark, hospital services coordinator for Midwest Transplant Network.

“I am incredibly proud of transplantation program and how our collaborative efforts with Midwest Transplant Network provide the gift of life to patients in need through organ donation and transplantation,” said Mark Wakefield, M.D., a urologist and director of University Hospital’s renal transplant program.

More than 28,000 lives are saved each year in the United States through the gift of organ donation. However, the need for transplantation continues to outpace the availability of organs. Nationally, approximately 117,000 people are currently awaiting a life-saving transplant.

“Donate Life Month reminds all of us of the importance of joining Missouri’s Organ and Tissue Donor Registry,” said Kramer Clark. “Joining the registry is a selfless act that could forever change the life of a transplant recipient. A single organ and tissue donor can save and enhance the lives of more than 50 people.”

As part of Donate Life Month, April 19 has been designated “Wear Your Blue and Green Day” in support of organ, tissue and eye donation.

Missouri residents are encouraged to learn more about becoming donors by visiting the Midwest Transplant Network’s web site at or signing up for the Missouri donor registry

Midwest Transplant Network is an organ procurement organization. Founded in 1973, the not-for-profit corporation’s mission is to provide quality transplantation-related services that will maximize the availability of organs and tissues to the community.

Heartland Lions Eye Banks is a division of the Missouri Lions Eye Research Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation with the mission to preserve and restore sight. Based in Columbia, Heartland Lions Eye Banks operates throughout Missouri and in parts of Illinois and Kansas, providing tissue corneal transplants worldwide.

As one of the state’s premier academic medical centers, MU Health Care provides highly specialized, multidisciplinary care to patients with the most severe illnesses and injuries from every county in the state.