Donate Life Month

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National Donate Life Month

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

UnityPoint Health – Des Moines has partnered with Iowa Donor Network and Iowa Lions Eye Bank and on Thursday, March 30th, unveiled its Wall of Heroes as a kick off to National Donate Life Month in April. The wall is a permanent art installation that is representative of the amazing legacy created by those who give the ultimate gift of organ, tissue and eye donation. It includes an interactive screen that will house the stories of these amazing individuals – people who are truly heroes to so many.  A reception and short program were held in the Iowa Methodist Medical Center atrium to introduce art piece and honor the heroes and their families; employees, media and the public was also invited.

The Wall of Heroes is the first of its kind for a Level 1 Trauma Center in Iowa and includes the stories of adult and pediatric donors at Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Blank Children's Hospital, Iowa Lutheran Hospital and Methodist West Hospital. It has been created as an extension of the hospital's care for patients and families, providing them a place to continue their loved one's story, a place to come back to and reflect on the magnitude of the gift and its impact. This also includes stories of those who have been a part of the living kidney donation program at Iowa Methodist Transplant Center.

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. 

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.

To register to become a donor,  go to You can also find additional information at or

Video of Event and Wall of Heroes Unveiling

Donate Life Month local celebrations

My Angel Foundation 5K – 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. It is 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 to 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, in order for congregations to come together to learn about and celebrate donation and transplantation and pray for those affected by it.

 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. It is located in LynneCutler Park, in the center of the Iowa Methodist Medical Center Campus. It is marked with a small Isabell Bloom sculpture of two children playing.