Donor Remembrance Ceremony Set for April 26

April 23, 2018

KEARNEYThe public is invited to attend CHI Health Good Samaritan’s annual organ and tissue donor remembrance ceremony at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 26 starting in the hospital's chapel.

Good Samaritan's Donor Awareness Council hosts the service to pay tribute to organ and tissue donors and their families. The ceremony will feature comments from those touched by donation, as well as a performance from the Kearney High School Choir.

As part of this event, new leaves will be dedicated and added to the “Giving Tree” sculpture displayed in Good Samaritan’s West Tower. This copper, bronze and steel abstract tree is a visual representation of the greatest gift—organ and tissue donation. It bears the initials of Good Samaritan patients who have given the gift of life allowing us to thank, honor and never forget these generous individuals and their families. In addition, a live tree donated by Dr. Fernando Yepes and family will be dedicated for planting on the Good Samaritan campus.

April is observed nationally as Donate Life Month and Good Samaritan proudly joins organizations and associations across the United States in bringing attention to the important issue of organ donation. 

National Donate Life Month – April 2018 Donation and Transplantation Statistics

  • In 2016, more than 33,600 transplants brought renewed life to patients and their families and communities (from 9,900 deceased and 5,900 living donors).
  • More than 119,000 men, women and children await lifesaving organ transplants (1,100 of them are 10 years old or younger).
  • About 58% of patients awaiting lifesaving transplants are minorities.
  • Another person is added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.
  • Sadly, 8,000 people die each year (22 people each day — almost one person each hour) because the organs they need are not donated in time.
  • 80% of patients on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney. The average waiting time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years. A kidney from a living donor offers patients an alternative to years of dialysis and time on the national transplant waiting list (the living donor’s remaining kidney will enlarge, doing the work of two healthy kidneys.)*
  • 12% of patients waiting are in need of a liver. Living donation of part of the liver can help these patients (the remaining portion of the donor liver will regenerate and regain full function.)
  • Nearly one-third of all deceased donors are age 50 or older; more than 7% are age 65 or older.
  • Each year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1 million tissue transplants; the surgical need for donated tissue is steadily rising.
  • A single tissue donor can help more than 75 people.
  • 48,000 patients have their sight restored through corneal transplants each year.
  • More than 134 million people, approximately 54% of the U.S. adult population, are registered organ, eye and tissue donors.*
  • To register your decision to save and heal lives, visit To learn more about organ, eye, tissue and living donation, visit * Living donation is not included in a donor registration.

Data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of January 9, 2017.