National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Celebrated in April each year, NDLM features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.
UnityPoint Health – Des Moines hosts events to celebrate and honor the gift of donation every April with various events. The local schedule for April 2017 is as follows:
Wall of Heroes
A Permanent Art Installation to Honor the Legacy of Organ, Tissue and Eye Donors
The multi-dimensional piece has been funded primarily through a gift from My Angel Foundation. The hospital worked through Moberg Gallery to commission Travis Rice, an Arizona artist, previously from Des Moines.
Approximately 65 percent of adults are registered donors in Iowa. Still, nearly 120,000 people nationally are waiting for their life-saving organ transplant; almost 700 of those are in Iowa. Over 1,500,000 tissue grafts are used every year across the country in common surgical procedures aimed at enhancing and saving lives. Approximately 40,000 corneal transplants are performed annually in the United States. Here in Iowa, more than 13,000 corneas have been provided for transplant since 1955.
To register to become a donor, go to www.iowadonornetwork.org. You can also find additional information at www.iowalionseyebank.org or www.myangelfoundation.org.
Donate Life Month local celebrations
The Green 5K Run and Walk - Saturday, April 21st, 2018
Think Spring! Think Green! Think Renewed Life! Think Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation
My Angel Foundation and Iowa Donor Network are teaming up to host the 10th Annual Green 5K Fun Run and Walk on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at Centennial Park in Waukee.
"This event helps spread awareness about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation by commemorating the lives of donors, celebrating the health of recipients, and providing hope for those who continue to wait for a life-changing transplant," said Ted Cochran, founder of My Angel Foundation and a kidney recipient. "The goal of the event is to raise awareness about donation but also build support for the community at a fun event for the whole family."
"We are thrilled to partner with My Angel Foundation for the Green 5K, especially as this is the 11th anniversary of the event. The Green 5K not only has increased registration rates across the state but also raised thousands of dollars for important projects to spread awareness and honor donors and their families that have given the ultimate gift of life," said Kaylie Hoyle, Events Specialist at Iowa Donor Network.
Visit our Tree of Life – year round
Please take a moment and stop by our "Tree of Life." This is a tree that was planted and dedicated to those who have given life to others. Located in Lynne Cutler Park, in the center of the Iowa Methodist Medical Center Campus. It is marked with a small Isabell Bloom sculpture of two children playing.
Other National Observances and Celebrations
The need for organ, eye and tissue donors is on-going, so join Donate Life America by participating in one of our many observances throughout the year! Together, through spreading the word and educating others about donation, we can take small steps each day towards saving more lives. Go tohttps://www.donatelife.net/celebrations/ for more information.
National Donor Day – February 14, 2018
National Donor Day is a time to focus on all types of donation – organ, eye, tissue, blood, platelets, and marrow –by participating in blood/marrow drives or donor registration events. It is also a day to recognize our loved ones who have given the gift of donation, have received a donation, are currently waiting or did not receive an organ in time.
Donate Life ECHO – July 8-21, 2018
Donate Life ECHO, which stands for Every Community Has Opportunity, is a nationwide observance designed to reach multicultural communities. Through the ECHO concept of reiteration and repetition—with people sharing the message of donation within their community—more lives will be saved and healed.
National DMV Appreciation Week – September 24-28, 2018.
The first-annual National DMV Appreciation Week took place in 2016. The DMV partnership remains the primary source of donor registrations. DMV and driver's licensing partners are the people on the front lines of service who have helped register more than 130 million donors. DMV Appreciation Week is a time for the Donate Life Community to say thank you and show its appreciation of DMV partners across the country through national and local events and outreach.
National Donor Sabbath – November 9-11, 2018
This three-day observance seeks to include the days of worship for major religions practiced in the United States, for congregations to come together to learn about and celebrate donation and transplantation and pray for those affected by it.