Every day, thousands of people wait on a list to receive an organ transplant. Many of these people never receive the organs they need to survive and pass away. It is a terrifying thought that one day you or a loved one may be in this position. However, many people are afraid of donating their organs for many reasons. Today, I want to give you some facts so that you are able to make an informed decision about whether or not to be an organ donor.

1) One donor can save many people.

Think about how many transplants you could provide. Not only can you donate organs, you can also donate tissues that would help people greatly. These can include bone, skin, and veins amongst others. Not only would you be able to help people with malfunctioning organs, you could also help those who have other conditions that impair their body.

2) Your blood type may make the difference.

Have blood type O? Your donations can make a huge difference, as people with type O blood can only receive donations from the same type. In fact, any blood type can receive type O blood or organs, which makes them the most valuable donors. That being said, even if you don’t have type O blood, you should still donate. Type A and B can receive their own type or O, while type AB can receive any.

3) Liver and kidney disease kills a lot.

In fact, these diseases kill more people than Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, or prostate cancer. Donating your organs would give more people the opportunity to live, and hopefully together we can decrease that number enough to make a big difference. It may seem unlikely, but if many people banded together, they could possibly save 3 lives apiece (one from a liver transplant and two kidney transplants) and cut down that statistic quickly.

4) You can donate while you are alive.

Sure, you can’t donate your lungs or liver while you are alive, but you can always donate a kidney. Your lifestyle would likely change drastically, though, so be aware of that before committing to anything. Keep this in mind if a loved one ever needs a transplant, as there is a much better chance of survival and less time waiting for a donor if a matching family member donates.

Donating an organ may sound scary, but it isn’t. It is a necessity for many people, and your donation could save many lives. Consider these facts and statistics, and think about what you would want someone to do if you were on the transplant list. We often don’t like thinking about death or illness, but thousands of people face these realities every day, and your help could brighten their future just a little while longer.