During this season of thanks and giving, I am humbled. Humbled by the selfless gifts that organ, eye and tissue donors gave in 2015. Hundreds of lives in Ohio were saved and countless more were healed by the decisions of complete strangers.

While the hundreds of lives saved truly fills me with gratitude, I can’t help but be saddened by the more than eight thousand men, women and children who have, or will, die in 2015 because the gift that they had been waiting for days, months, years did not come in time – their Gift of Life.

For those individuals, their gift didn’t need to be wrapped with a bow, or presented with love by someone they know. They were hoping a perfect stranger would give them their ultimate gift – the gift of more time with their family, more memories to be made, more holidays to be shared.

Right now, more than 123,000 Americans and 3,400 Ohioans are on the national transplant waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. Unfortunately, not enough people are registered to donate critical live-saving and healing gifts to restore their lives. Myths, such as the fear that emergency room doctors won’t save your life if you’re a donor, or misconceptions like worrying that donation will change funeral plans, prevent people from registering as donors.

Many times, people don’t register and leave that decision up to their family to make in a time of immense tragedy. We implore you to talk to your family and let them know that you want to give the Gift of Life. Lessen their burden and give others hope.

I urge you to take action today and register as an organ, eye and tissue donor. Give hope to those who may be losing hope. Say “yes” at the BMV, register online at www.lifelineofohio.org or call 800.525.5667 with any questions.

Sincerely,

Kent Holloway, CEO, Lifeline of Ohio

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