This April marks the nation’s third annual observance of National Donate Life Month. This is a time to remember those heroes who gave life through organ and tissue donation. It is also a time to remember those who have received the gift of life and those waiting.
Most especially, this observance reminds us that there are still many more people who await the gift of life. Their futures are uncertain, for our nation is experiencing a critical organ shortage. In Illinois alone, more than 4,500 men, women and children are waiting and hoping for transplants that will save their lives. Last year, more than 320 Illinoisans died waiting.
Please join Catholics and communities across the country as they take part in numerous events and campaigns to promote donor awareness. The message is simple: Donate life. Be a donor, sign a donor card and tell your family.
I ask your support of this campaign by helping to promote this message. We remind all Catholics of our faith’s support for donation and transplantation as one of the highest expressions of human compassion and giving. These are basic principles upon which our Catholic faith is based.
Please consider participating in National Donate Life Month by discussing our Church’s teachings and statements on donation and transplantation with your families, friends and co-workers. Please consider the faith-based decision to give the gift of life.
With more than 87,000 Americans waiting for lifesaving organ transplants and thousands more waiting for life-enhancing tissue or cornea transplants, I encourage you toparticipate in this campaign. To learn more about organ & tissue donation, visit www.giftofhope.org
I ask you to consider supporting National Donate Life Month in honor of those who gave, on behalf of those who received . . . and with hope for those who continue to wait.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Chicago