Become an Organ Donor


Together We Can Save Lives

Organ and tissue donation provides a “Second Chance” for thousands of people each year and is the result of people helping people – of ordinary people becoming “Heroes.” When you make a personal commitment to be an organ and tissue donor, you can help save eight lives and improve the quality of nearly 50 people’s lives! Many organs and tissues can be donated, including the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, intestine, skin, bone, tendons, ligaments, vessels, heart valves, nerves, middle ear bones and eyes.

At Donate Life Missouri, you can find out about the growing need, answers to your questions, and how to find additional information resources, both locally and nationally. You can also stay informed on the latest transplant news. Donate Life Illinois is Illinois’ organ donor program. In all other states: Donate Life.

Make the choice to help – be someone’s Hero!

By signing up for the Donor Registry at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, online, or through a mail-in paper enrolment form, you are making an advance directive to donate life at the time of your death.

Learn the Facts

Despite continuing efforts at public education, misconceptions and inaccuracies about donation persist. Learn these facts to help you better understand organ, eye and tissue donation:

Fact: Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history.
Fact: All major religions in the United States support organ, eye and tissue donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others.
Fact: If you are sick or injured and admitted to the hospital, the number one priority is to save your life. Organ, eye and tissue donation can only be considered after you are deceased.
Fact: When you are on the waiting list for an organ, what really counts is the severity of your illness, time spent waiting, blood type, and other important medical information, not your financial status or celebrity status.
Fact: An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors. Through the entire donation process the body is treated with care, respect and dignity.
Fact: There is no cost to the donor or their family for organ or tissue donation.


Although there have been advances in medical technology and donation, the demand for organ, eye and tissue donation still vastly exceeds the number of donors. For more information, read the summary below or create a detailed data report on the UNOS Web site.

  • More than 114,000 men, women and children currently need life-saving organ transplants.
  • Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.
  • An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.
  • In 2011, there were 8,127 deceased organ donors and 6,017 living organ donors resulting in 28,535 organ transplants.
  • Last year, more than 42,000 grafts were made available for transplant by eye banks within the United States.
  • According to research, 98% of all adults have heard about organ donation and 86% have heard of tissue donation.
  • 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.

Related Links

These links connect you to the Web sites of organizations that promote and support organ donation through community and nationwide educational programs and initiatives:

Donate Life
 Created and maintained by Donate Life America, contains important facts and information about donation and transplantation as well as details on how to become a registered organ, eye, and tissue donors in each state.

Dona Vida
Donate Life America’s Spanish web site, contains facts and information about donation and transplantation and addresses concerns that are specific to the Hispanic community. It also details how to become a registered organ, eye and tissue donor in each state.

United Network for Organ Sharing 
Created and maintained by United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), is the organ transplantation information resource for medical professionals and the general public. UNOS brings together medicine, science, public policy, and technology to facilitate every organ transplant performed in the United States.

Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network 
Created and maintained by UNOS the site contains in depth national, regional, and state donation and transplantation data.

Transplant Living 
Created and maintained by UNOS, the Transplant Living Web site is the definitive information and education resource for transplant patients and their families.

Eye Bank Association of America
 The oldest transplant association in the United States, the Eye Bank Association of America is the nationally recognized accrediting body for eye banks.

American Association of Tissue Banks The AATB is a professional, non-profit, scientific and educational organization. It is the only national tissue banking organization in the United States, and its membership totals more than 100 accredited tissue banks and 1,000 individual members.

Association of Organ Procurement Organizations 
The Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) is the non-profit organization recognized as the national representative of fifty-eight federally-designated organ procurement organizations, serving more than 300 million Americans.