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Letter: The awe-inspiring gift of life is vital

April has been designated as National Donate Life Month and is designed to bring greater awareness of the need for individuals to become organ and tissue donors.

By becoming a donor, an individual gives hope for a second chance for life for those waiting for an organ transplant, and enhancing the lives of those waiting for tissue transplants. One donor can impact the lives of 66 individuals.

Although there is not enough room here for complete documentation, the most recent information indicates that about 132,888 men, women and children are currently awaiting an organ transplant in the United States. Also, every 10 minutes another person is added to the waiting list for an organ transplant and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.

As a grateful recipient of a heart transplant, I wanted this letter to be about the donors and families of donors. They are the true heroes of organ and tissue transplantation. After my heart transplant, I struggled to find some small way to express my gratitude to donors who have given the gift of life.

Should you feel led to be a donor, it is as easy as logging on to

James Swenson