Faircloth advocates for Donate Life Month

Published 8:20 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2016

There are 5,052 people awaiting a kidney transplant in Georgia. Another 317 are awaiting a liver transplant. Ninety-four are awaiting a heart.

These numbers from United Network for Organ Sharing are staggering, and they’re just from one state. Thousands upon thousands of men and women across the country are relying on a transplant to save their lives.

Fortunately, Americans are reminded every April just how important organ transplants are, and how easy it is to make a life-saving difference.

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National Donate Life Month is dedicated to encouraging citizens to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor to celebrate those who have saved lives through donation.

It might sound too complicated. You might be wondering why you should bother, or if it really makes a difference. June Faircloth, a representative with the Decatur County Transplant Advocacy Group, has an answer to those questions

“If you look at the transplant list, there are so many residents in Decatur County that are in need of lifesaving organs,” Faircloth said. “Every 10 minutes, somebody else is added to the UNOS national patients waiting lists. More people would certainly donate if they understood.”

Faircloth’s son, Dylan, was tragically killed in a car accident in 2010. Dylan had proudly lived as an organ donor. Faircloth even called it one of his passions. Dylan’s organs saved the lives of numerous individuals around the world, including his heart, which went to former Georgia Tech quarterback Stan Gann, 75.

After his death, she began advocating for those in the community to register as organ donors, using her son as inspiration and continuing his mission. The Decatur County registry doubled in the first year.

“It’s an opportunity for me to share Dylan’s story and to help a cause he truly believed in,” Faircloth said. “It is amazing what public education will do. We helped certify numerous people in Decatur County. It’s all about education. That is my passion.”

Faircloth emphasized how easy it is to register as an organ donor. Parents can even register their children as donors. Going ahead and ensuring loved ones are registered will remove a tedious and oftentimes painful process out of the picture if tragedy does strike.

For more information about organ donation, or to sign up to be an organ donor, visit online at www.donatelifegeorgia.org.