Rapid City, (KEVN-TV) Thousands of men, women and children in the United States are waiting for organ transplants that could save their lives, and each year approximately one–third of those people receive the life–saving transplants.
According to LifeSource and Rapid City Regional Hospital's Collaborative Program 'Saving Lives Through Donation,' nearly 3–thousand people are waiting for a kidney transplant, and on a national level more than 100–thousand are still on the waiting list.
The Chief Executive Officer of LifeSource says more than half of South Dakotans are registered organ donors but hopes to see that number increase in order to help those in need.
Susan Gunderson said, "Rapid City Regional's been a huge part of that and getting the message out to the community. There was just some change in legislation this past year, and the governor's been incredibly supportive to help make it easier to say yes to donation. And right now we know about 58 percent of South Dakotans are designated as donors; we'd like to see that even higher. We know the rates are a little bit higher in North Dakota and Minnesota, so getting the word out is really, really what's incredibly important."
Kidney, liver and heart transplants have the highest number of patients on the waiting list on a national level.
Kidney, liver and pancreas are the most needed at Rapid City Regional.
You can register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at www.life-source.org.