OurLegacy honors Central Florida organ donor heroes and families who helped make life possible for more than 10,000 through life-giving organs for transplant
The U.S. organ donation system surpassed 1 million organ transplants as of September 9, 2022, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has announced. Central Florida Organ Procurement Organization, OurLegacy, a member of the nationwide organ donation and transplant system responsible for reaching the historic milestone, honors Central Florida organ donor heroes and families who said “yes” to organ donation. Together, with the collaboration of a caring community and clinical partners, Central Floridians contributed more than 10,000 organs for transplant, making the 1,000,000 possible.
A record-breaking 41,000+ transplants were performed nationwide in 2021, more than double the rate from 25 years ago. 2021 was also the 11th consecutive record-setting year for organ donation from deceased donors. Liver and heart transplants continue to set annual all-time volume records – for the past 9 and 10 years, respectively.
In 2021, 230 Central Floridians gave the Gift of Life through organ donation contributing 719 life-giving organs for transplant. Historically, Central Florida organ donor heroes have made more than 10,000 organs available for transplant since the inception of donation and transplant programs in our community.
“With each Gift of Life, a ripple of hope is sent into the world. OurLegacy is grateful for organ donor heroes and families who make life possible for others. In 2021, our program procured the 10,000 life-giving organ for transplant. 10,000 ripples of hope contribute to the historic 1,000,000 transplant milestone we celebrate today,” said Ginny McBride, Executive Director of OurLegacy.
Of the million U.S. transplants performed, more than half have occurred since 2007. This demonstrates a sustained trend of system-wide increases made possible by the ongoing strengthening of organ allocation policies, an increasing focus on non-traditional donors, collaborative efforts to increase donation, the continuous evolution of organ preservation techniques and other scientific breakthroughs.
Continuous system-wide improvement is also marked by greater equity in access to transplant, especially in kidney allocation, which accounts for more than 60 percent of total transplants. As of 2021, 58 percent of all kidney recipients are patients of color – a 25 percent increase from 1988 that is fueled by numerous policy and performance improvements, including the elimination of race-based calculations relative to kidney function.
“The organ donation and transplant community has made lifesaving history together,” says Jerry McCauley, M.D., M.P.H., president of the UNOS Board of Directors. "Now, we invite donor families, organ transplant candidates and recipients, living organ donors and others touched by transplant to join Living It Forward and honor and celebrate the gifts that made this important milestone possible.”
OurLegacy also encourages our community to join us in our lifesaving mission by registering to be an organ donor – 1 person can save up to 8 lives through organ donation and change the lives of as many as 75 through tissue donation, which is crucial since only 2 percent of deaths meet the criteria for someone to become a donor. The need is great; more than 100,000 people are on the transplant waitlist. You can register as a lifesaving organ, eye and tissue donor when renewing your driver license or online at DonateLifeFlorida.org
OurLegacy is the federally designated organ procurement organization for 10-counties across east-Central Florida. Together with our community, OurLegacy cares for families, honors donors and saves lives through organ and tissue donation. www.ourlegacyfl.org