The World Transplant Games 2019 takes place from August 17th, with 1,500 athletes from over 60 countries coming to Newcastle and Gateshead to compete in Olympic style events. The amazing thing about these athletes is that they have had lifesaving organ or tissue transplants, or are living donors.

The legacy of this event is to raise awareness of the need for organ donation, which in turn will lead to more people registering as donors, and ultimately lead to lives being saved. Every day three people die because not enough organs are being donated. You can help change this by giving the gift of life, which is as simple as signing the NHS Organ Donor register today. It only takes a minute, but it could be worth a lifetime to someone. In fact, you could save up to nine lives.

One of the most important things to do after registering to donate is to then inform your family of your decision. If you don’t, then it could be the case your family are unwilling to approve your organ donations upon death. Telling your family that you want to be an organ donor when you die helps them to make that decision at a difficult time.

Right now, across the UK, there are around 6,080 people on the transplant waiting list including around 150 children and teenagers. More people are needed to support donation, so as well as considering registering yourself, also consider asking your friends and family to be donors too. You can do this on your social media with the hashtags #YesIDonate #PassItOn #GiftOfLife.

From spring 2020, organ donation in England will move to an opt-out system. This means that all adults in England will be considered to have agreed to be an organ donor when they die unless they have recorded a decision not to donate. However, even in this new system, it is still possible that your family may not consent to your organs being donated after death. That’s why one of the most important legacy messages of the World Transplant Games is to tell your family your organ donation decision. Give the gift of life, register on the NHS Organ Donation list today and tell your family why you’ve made this decision.

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