CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The Kanawha County Commission passed a resolution supporting Donate Life West Virginia’s first-ever Donor Day on Aug. 1.
Donate Life West Virginia is encouraging people to register as organ donors. According to their website, more than 150,000 people in the U.S. are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant. More than 500 are from West Virginia.
Rebekah Beach, a registered nurse and organ donor, was inspired by the cause from an early age.
“When I was growing up, my best friend’s mom received a kidney transplant that saved her life,” she said. “So I think that hit home for me for a long time since I was little.”
She’s hoping the number of people awaiting a transplant will inspire more people to register.
“It’s so important, it changes lives every day,” Beach said. “There’s so many people waiting here in West Virginia. It can really make a difference on everyone’s life.”
An organ donation can go a long way, one donor can save eight lives and heal up to 75 others. Cassie Johnson, a Charleston Police Officer who died in the line of duty in December was also an organ donor whose donation helped others in need.
“It was important to her family, it was important for them to ensure that her life and her legacy lived on,” Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said.
The wait process for a life-saving organ can take a while, but the end result could be life-changing.
“As you get closer to your actual organ donation, it really is huge,” Beach said. “They throw parties, they throw golf outings. The families get so excited because your life has just been saved.”