MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- In 2013, more than 1,600 people in Milwaukee County joined the Wisconsin Donor Registry. This year, BloodCenter of Wisconsin hopes to see that number increase.
Each year, countless patients, like five-year-old Kiefer of Waukesha, are given a second chance at life through the generous gift of organ donation. Kiefer’s parents call him their “walking miracle” thanks to the success of his liver transplant and the generosity of a donor family.
During the month of April — National Donate Life Month — BloodCenter of Wisconsin takes time to honor donors and donor families who have saved lives through organ, tissue, marrow and eye donation.
It’s also a time to encourage Milwaukee County residents to register at www.bcw.edu/sharinglife to give these life-saving gifts.
More than 2,450 people in Wisconsin and more than 121,000 people in the U.S. are awaiting organ transplants. Nationally, nearly 14,000 patients who need marrow transplants and blood cell transplants search the registry each year to find a match.
BloodCenter of Wisconsin needs 800 blood donors each day to serve patients in need.
A young life saved
Last year Kiefer spent his first summer outside of a hospital. He was finally able to ride his bike, play with his cousins and take part in a family vacation — just like any other five-year-old.
“Someone made the decision for their child to donate their liver to Kiefer,” said his mom, Katie. “I always think about the generosity of that donor family.”
Kiefer was born with a life-threatening disease. He endured many surgeries, and at eight months old he received a liver transplant. His parents are so grateful to the family who made the decision to donate to Kiefer, giving him the gift of a childhood and hope for the future.
Give someone a second chance at life
As home to the Wisconsin Donor Network and Wisconsin Tissue Bank, BloodCenter of Wisconsin reminds community residents that their decision to donate may mean a second chance at life for patients in need. You can make a difference by:
To join the registry or for more information, visit www.bcw.edu/sharinglife.
Becoming a donor allows individuals to give the highly personal and unique gifts of organ, tissue, eye, marrow and blood. For many people, your donation will give them their only chance for recovery or survival.