Great River Health System will kick off National Donate Life Month with
a ceremony at11 a.m. Friday, April 1, in the Jeff Weigart Donor Memorial
Garden on the health system’s campus, 1221 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington.
In case of rain, the ceremony will be in Mercy Plaza. Refreshments will
The speakers will be Great River Klein Center nurses Margo White and Samantha
Ripple, and Bruce and Tiffini Brockway. White donated a kidney to Ripple
Jan. 21, and both women have returned to work. The Brockways donated their
10-year-old son Garrett’s organs when he died after an accident
three years ago.
One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation, and save and
heal more than 50 lives through tissue donation. Tissue includes blood
vessels, corneas, bones, heart valves, skin and tendons. In 2015, 61 Iowans
shared the gift of life through organ donation, saving 214 lives. Thousands
more were healed by 890 tissue donors in Iowa.
Approximately 64 percent of adults are registered donors in Iowa. But the
number of people needing transplants outpaces the number of donor organs.
There are 122,000 Americans waiting for life-saving organ transplants.
On March 1, 607 Iowans were on the national waiting list for these organs:
- Heart – 34
- Lungs – 7
- Liver – 19
- Kidney – 533
- Kidney and pancreas – 12
- Pancreas – 2
Although an average of 81 transplants occur every day in the U.S., some
people don’t receive organs in time. About 22 people die each day
while waiting for transplants.
People may register to become organ donors when they receive their drivers’
licenses or they can register online: