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Organ donation: The facts, the needs, the success

April is Donate Life Month

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – April is National Donate Life Month, a time when organizations throughout the organ and tissue donation community work together to share with as many people as possible the critical need for donors in the community and across the nation. 

Consider these facts:

  • Nearly 120,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list.
  • Nearly 5,400 of those live in Florida.
  • While 95 percent of people say they support organ donation, only 52 percent have joined the organ donor registry.
  • Every 10 minutes, another name is added to the transplant list.
  • Each day, 22 people on the transplant list die waiting.

That is why The Morning Show is airing a week of special coverage to increase your understanding of organ donation and how to join the organ-donor registry. Coverage began Monday. Over the rest of the week, Channel 4 will present four stories featuring several area patients who are on the transplant list awaiting The Gift of Life.

Monday: Shirley Scott Brill

Nine years after her double lung transplant, Shirley Scott Brill is a passionate spokeswoman for organ donation. In particular, she is devoted to reaching out to multicultural communities.

Like other transplant recipients, Brill tries to honor her donor each day. This retired teacher and current music minister at St. Stephen AME Church, sang without accompaniment Monday on The Morning Show to demonstrate the success of her lung transplant.

Junior Boatright

Tuesday: Junior Boatright

Walter ‘Junior’ Boatright has spent his life devoted to giving as much as he can to his community in Nassau County.

Ironically, Boatright is now waiting for the ultimate gift from a stranger: The Gift of Life.

Wednesday: Tanecia Fisher

Tanecia Fisher has spent most of the five years she has been alive in hospitals.

No longer able to live away from medical care, her family must visit her in a transplant center, which is her home while she waits for a transplant. How does she pass the time? You might be surprised.

Thursday: Aaron Mickel

Most of us breathe in and out and don’t even think about it. Not so for Aaron Mickel. For this young man, each day is focused on one thing: breathing. 

For Mickel, the Gift of Life means the breath of life.


Friday: 4 waiting for organ most in demand

Believe it or not, 82 percent of all who are on the transplant list, each waiting on a kidney. Because of that, we'll introduce you to Evelyn James, Keron Johnson, Robert Mueller and Linda McElroy.

Their medical conditions are different. They are very different people. But they all share one thing: They are all waiting for The Gift of Life.

Organ, tissue and eye donors have the power to save up to eight lives and enhance many more. Learn more by watching this special series on The Morning Show, then make a world of difference by going online to learn how you can become an organ donor.