Many people enjoy chocolate hearts both to give and receive on Valentine’s Day. What else delights on this special day of admiration? Beyond the love-red cards and fancy tasty treats, consider this: A lifesaving present today also includes people who give parts of their kidneys, lungs, liver, skin, bone marrow and numerous other body parts to needy patients. Today is National Organ Donor Day, observed every year on February 14.

And, no, you don’t have to die to give someone else the joy of a new and improved life. Four out of ten donations originate with a living healthy human being. In fact, living donors made over 6,000 transplants possible in 2017.  

Gathered data reveals the impact of a transplant shows patients appear noticeably healthier as soon as they exit surgery. Receiving an organ from living candidates generally has more successful results than donations from a deceased donor. Improved health, quality of life and an increased life span are the frequent results for donor recipients.

Potential living donors undergo in-depth evaluations to ensure their suitability. The basic requirements of the donor include being physically fit, in good health, between 18 and 60 years of age with no diabetes, cancer or high blood pressure, currently or in the past.

When family members are not a healthy match with a patient, other options involve paired exchanges or donations where patient A’s relative gives a snip of a kidney to patient B while patient A has a relative who is compatible with patient B’s needs.  

Some awesome people have saved lives. And Valentine’s Day rejoices in their gifts.

About Our Author

Grace Aspinall

Grace Aspinall was born and raised in Williamstown, Massachusetts where she was a freelance journalist, photo-journalist and photographer for many years. She currently lives in Clifton, Virginia, and pursues her passions for her horse, her husband, her photography and her grandchildren. Grace has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Skidmore College and Master’s of Arts in Corporate Communications from Norwich University. During her years in Metro Washington DC she exhibits her talent for technical writing on numerous government contracts.  

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