National Living Donor Day Date in the current year: April 11, 2024

National Living Donor Day National Living Donor Day is celebrated annually on April 11. It was created to raise awareness of living organ and tissue donation and to honor the people who save lives through this type of donation.

Most organ donations occur after the donor’s death for obvious reasons, but some organs and tissues can be donated by living donors. They include one kidney (the remaining kidney can work as well as two), segment of the liver (the liver will regrow to almost its original size in a short amount of time), one lobe of the lung, part of the intestine, or part of the pancreas. The lung/pancreas/intestine will not regrow, but the remaining portion will be enough to function fully.

The majority of living donors donate an organ to someone they know (directed donation), but it is possible to donate to someone you don’t know (non-directed donation). Most living donors go on to have a similar or even better quality of life after the donation, remain as healthy and active as they were before the donation, and consider living donation a positive and rewarding emotional experience.

Of course, just like any surgical procedure, living donation has its risks, and recovery from surgery will take time. This is why in order to become a living donor one must be in good and physical and mental health, be aware of the risks associated with living donation, and be capable of making an informed decision that living donation is the right choice for them.

The history of National Living Donor Day can be traced back to November 25, 2019, when Dave Galbenski underwent a living donor liver transplant at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Galbensky suffered from a rare liver and gallbladder disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis, and getting a liver transplant was the only reliable treatment. Since Galbensky was too low on the transplant list, his doctors suggested he look for a possible living donor among family members and friends. Luckily, his brother-in-law Mark Dybis stepped forward and turned out a match.

Within two months after the successful transplantation, both men returned back to their full health. Soon after, Dave and his wife Lynn started the Living Liver Foundation to raise awareness of living organ donation and encourage people to consider becoming a living donor. In 2023, the Living Liver Foundation teamed up with National Day Calendar to launch National Living Donor Day.

How can you get involved with National Living Donor Day? Start by educating yourself about the different types of organs and tissues that can be donated by a living donor. If this inspires you to become a living donor and you meet the criteria, reach out to the nearest transplant hospital and ask whether they have a non-directed living donation program.

If you are not eligible to become a living donor or don’t want to be one (which is a totally valid choice), you can get involved by donating to an organization that matches those in need of a transplant with potential donors or contributing to a fundraiser for someone who needs help with transplant-related expenses. And don’t forget to spread the world on social media with the hashtags #NationalLivingDonorDay and #LivingDonorDay.

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National Living Donor Day, observances in the US, health-related observances, living donation, Living Liver Foundation