ST. CLOUD -- April is Donate Life Month and CentraCare Health is honor the many people who helped save a life with a special dedication.

It's one of the most precious gifts you can give, especially for those who have been waiting for years.

Hospital Liaison for Life Source Tim Verschaetse says 125,000 people in the United States are on a waiting list for an organ transplant and many don't make it.

"21 people die everyday while waiting for an organ transplant," says Verschaetse.

Every 10 minutes someone is added to the donor waiting list.

Sandy Hagglund knows first hand the power of being an organ donor after finding out her daughter was an organ donor and when she died was able to save several lives.

"Through transplant donations my daughter helped over sixty people," says Hagglund.

"The patient success rates are very, very high. Upwards in the 90% range," says Verschaetse.

CentraCare has had over 125 organ donors in the last 20 years.

Christy Gilleland and her family know the importance of receiving an organ donation after her mother received a kidney.

"We didn't really understand, no one in our family really understood the impact until it happened to us," says Gilleland.

In collaboration with CentraCare Health, Gilleland has helped fund a special wall that will honor those many organ donors.

"I've been very involved with the foundation board and they knew the story about my mom and they came to us with the idea for this wall," says Gilleland.

A special unveiling of the wall will take place Wednesday from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the families who have donated or received an organ through CentraCare.

Hagglund says while the wall will be honoring her daughter and many others, it means so much more.

"It's a way of showing that yes this really does happen and look these are people who are compassionate enough and kind enough to give one of the greatest gifts possible," says Hagglund.

"Once you receive and organ from someone else, like my mom told us it's a whole new life, it's a whole new perspective," says Gilleland.

If you would like to become an organ donor click Register.


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