Milwaukee – March 26, 2018 – Nick Smith was a kind and generous kid who cared deeply about his family, friends and classmates. Today, Nick’s spirit lives on through the lives of countless others thanks to the gifts of organ, tissue and eye donation.
During April, National Donate Life Month, BloodCenter of Wisconsin, is encouraging community members to indicate their willingness to be organ, tissue and eye donors through state and national registries found at versiti.org/sharinglife. During the month of April, we also take time to honor donors and donor families who have generously given so that others may live.
Approximately 2,000 Wisconsinites and 116,000 Americans are awaiting organ transplants. More than 138 million people, approximately 56% of the U.S. adult population, are registered organ, eye and tissue donors. But, until individuals take the simple step of registering their willingness to donate, their wishes won’t be known.
Nick’s legacy lives on through donation
Nick was just 15 years old when he died suddenly in June 2017. Although he and his family had not discussed it, in the face of tragedy, Nick’s parents knew that he would want to help others by donating his organs.
“Being an organ donor reflects the kind of person he was and how he lived his life,” says Nick’s mom, Becky.
Nick was able to donate his heart, liver and kidneys to help save the lives of five different patients. He also donated corneas and other tissue to patients in need and also to help advance medical research.
Now, Nick’s spirit lives on, and Becky hopes her son inspires people to join the organ donor registry.
“It doesn’t ease the pain, but it’s comforting to know that other people have a second chance at life because of him,” says Becky.
Giving a second chance at life
As home to the Wisconsin Donor Network and the Wisconsin Tissue Bank, BloodCenter of Wisconsin is dedicated to saving and extending the lives of patients while caring for donor families. In 2017, BloodCenter facilitated 309 life-saving organ transplants.
You can make difference by:
- Registering to become an organ, tissue and eye donor;
- Join the Be The Match marrow donation registry;
- Donate blood regularly through BloodCenter of Wisconsin;
- Honor donors and donor families who have saved lives and improved the quality of life for others.
For more information and to join the registries, visit versiti.org/toolkit.
About BloodCenter of Wisconsin
BloodCenter of Wisconsin, part of Versiti, is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., that specializes in blood services, esoteric diagnostic testing, organ, tissue and stem cell donation, medical services and leading-edge research. We advance patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise. The collective efforts of Versiti affiliates result in improved patient outcomes, expanded access to care, and cost efficiencies for healthcare systems nationwide. For more information, visit www.versiti.org.