Give your heart on Valentine’s Day

More than 120,000 people in the US are waiting for an organ: parents, children, college students, grandparents, and others. By signing up to be an organ donor, you have the power to save a life. Actually, several lives: one organ donor can save up to eight people. There are misconceptions about being an organ donor, so let’s check the facts:

  • If you are sick or injured and are admitted to a hospital, the #1 priority is to save your life.
  • Most major religions in the US support organ donation.
  • Being an organ donor doesn’t cost any money to you or your family.
  • When matching donors and recipients, several factors are considered, including severity of illness, blood type, and other important medical information. Race and celebrity status aren’t relevant.

How do I sign up?

Registering as an organ donor is easy. Sign up in your state.

How can I save a life today?

Donate blood! It’s easy and free. First time donor? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Every two seconds, someone in the US needs a blood transfusion.
  • The most common blood type requested by hospitals is Type O–but all blood types are needed.
  • You can donate blood every six to eight weeks, which is the time it takes for your body to replenish the red cells used in the donation.
  • You can’t contract HIV from donating blood.
  • While the blood is tested for disease, donating blood is not the same as getting tested for HIV/AIDS (if you are at risk for HIV/AIDS, you shouldn’t donate blood). If you want to be tested for HIV, visit your student health center.
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Brandy Reeves is a health educator at the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky. She received her undergraduate degree from Miami University, a master of public health from Ohio State University, and a master of higher education from the University of Kentucky.