SC organ donors on the rise

By Sonya

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Facebook is a powerful social media tool, and now it can even save lives.

Tuesday, Facebook made an announcement encouraging its users to become organ donors. Since then, more than 300 people have signed up to become donors. The daily average used to be four or five people.

Lifepoint, an organization responsible for organ and tissue donation here in South Carolina is thrilled about the huge increase in donors.

"Everyone who is on Facebook, this reaches their friends, that person's friends, and it's just a domino effect. It's just going to have a huge effect on organ and tissue donation," said Joni Adams, Lifepoint volunteer.

Joni Adams is not only a volunteer with Lifepoint. She truly understands what the organization does. Her son, who passed away in 2010, was a registered donor.

"Jeremy gave the ultimate gift of life, and because of that other people are still alive because of his generosity. That means a lot, because although he is not here with me physically, he is alive through other people," Adams said.

Jeremy had been a tissue donor since he got his drivers license.

"A lot of people don't know that you could also give sight to two different people through cornea donation and also the lives of many others could be improved through what we call tissue donation. That can involve things like heart valves and even bone and things like that," said Gordon Parker, family support counselor at Lifepoint.

Just like tissue donation, organ donation can save numerous lives.

"One person has the ability to donate organs up to eight different people," Parker said.

There are currently over 100,000 people in the US that are on the transplant list waiting on a life-saving organ. About a thousand of them are in South Carolina.

"And the list gets larger every year. So, trying to meet that need, it's why it's most important for people to sign up on our registry," Parker said.

On any given day, there may be one or two organ donors across the state.

"And no one knows from one minute to the next, what's going to happen to them or someone in their family. There is people that die every day not getting the transplant because the organ wasn't there. So, if we could reach people and make the awareness greater, then maybe a lot more people could live longer, healthier lives," Adams said.

If you are interested in becoming a registered organ or tissue donor, you can do so through Lifepoint.

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