Pelham Council offers support for organ donation

Pelham Mayor Gary Waters presented a proclamation to Alabama Organ Center Community Liaison Becky Davis on April 6 to mark April as "Donate Life Month" in Pelham. (File)

Pelham Mayor Gary Waters presented a proclamation to Alabama Organ Center Community Liaison Becky Davis on April 6 to mark April as “Donate Life Month” in Pelham. (File)

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

PELHAM – After Pelham Mayor Gary Waters read a proclamation marking April as “Donate Life Month” in Pelham during an April 6 council meeting, he explained why organ donation is important to him.

Three years ago, Waters donated one of his kidneys to a friend in need of a kidney transplant.

“Organ donation is close to my kidney,” Waters said, chuckling.

Waters presented the proclamation to Alabama Organ Center Community Liaison Becky Davis, noting the Alabama Kidney Foundation will hold the 2015 Birmingham Kidney Walk on April 18 at Samford University to raise awareness and funds for fighting kidney disease.

“Walk with us,” Waters said. “Help us support kidney and organ transplantation.”

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, 23,715 candidates on the nation’s organ transplant waiting list received a life-saving or life-enhancing organ transplant in 2014, 401 of which received an organ transplant in Alabama.

A new patient is added to the national waiting list for an organ transplant every 21 minutes, and more than 123,213 men, women and children are on the national waiting list for organ transplantations (3,737 are on Alabama’s list), the proclamation read.

In addition, 6,043 candidates on the national waiting list died waiting for an organ transplant that did not come in time, 221 of which were on Alabama’s waiting list.

“In Pelham we honor all who have given the gift of life, we focus our efforts on the extreme need for organ and tissue donors, and we encourage residents to designate their donation decision and share the decision to donate with family members,” the proclamation read.