About Organ & Tissue Donation
Simply stated, organ and tissue donation is the act of giving part of your body to someone else who needs it to survive or to heal from an injury or illness.
But it's so much more than that. Donation is hope—giving someone else a second chance at life, their friends and family more precious days with their loved one. Donation is revival—helping others live a better quality of life, the chance to live their life to the fullest. Donation is peace—offering grieving families an opportunity to see beyond the tragedy that took their loved one from them. Donation is the most precious gift of all.
Every day 22 Americans die waiting for a transplant that could have saved their lives—that's about 8,000 people per year. But we can all make a difference by registering to be an organ, tissue and eye donor.
120,000 Americans are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
A new name is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.
One organ, tissue and eye donor can save and heal 100 or more people.
Registering to be an organ donor is the easiest way to help others and donation is free for the donor's family.
What Can Be Donated?
One person has the ability to impact many lives through organ, tissue, and eye donation. The organs from one donor can save up to eight lives. Donated tissue can help 100 or more people heal from an injury or illness and provide sight to two others.
These six organs can be donated:
- Small intestine
The most commonly donated tissues are:
- Heart valves
Deceased vs. Living Donation
Organ and tissue donation most commonly takes place after you are deceased; however, some organs may be donated while you are still living (living donation).
When you register to be an organ, tissue and eye donor, you are indicating your wishes to be a donor at the time of your death. Registering to be a donor is the only way to ensure your wishes will be carried out if you qualify for donation at the time of your passing.
In 2016, over 6,000 people chose to be living donors for family members, friends and even strangers. Living donors most commonly donate a kidney, but portions of the liver, and in rare cases, other organs can be donated. If you register to be an organ donor, you will never be called upon to be a living donor. Living donors voluntarily initiate the donation process by contacting a transplant center, such as Nebraska Medicine.
There's no simple answer when it comes to who can donate, but there is one simple truth about registering. Learn why anyone over the age of 16 can register to be a donor.
The journey from donation to transplantion involves the dedication, care and skill of many organizations who are committed to maximizing the gift of life. See how it works.
Will donation affect my funeral plans? Will my family have to pay for the cost of donation? Do I need to register online if I'm already registered at the DMV? Get the answers to these and other frequently asked questions.
Every year donation affects thousands of lives. Donors become heroes as grateful recipients begin anew. Watch the stories of donor families and recipients who have been impacted by the greatest gift of all.