Donation Essentials Blog

Who Can’t Be an Organ, Eye and Tissue Donor?

Who can't donate_ - DE post graphicWe’re often asked who can’t be an organ, eye and tissue donor? The short answer is, everyone has the potential to be an organ, eye and tissue donor!

Even if you have a chronic illness or health condition, you may be able to give the gift of life to someone in need at the time of your death. Never rule yourself out, regardless of age, lifestyle or health.

What is the age limit on becoming a donor?

There is no age limit or age minimum to become a donor. Heroes of all ages—from newborns to seniors—have given the gift of life.

In 2018, 1 out of every 3 organ donors was over the age of 50. In our region, throughout Colorado and most of Wyoming, the oldest tissue donor in 2018 was 103 years old! The oldest organ donor was well into their 80s! You’re NEVER too old to say Yes and give the gift of life.

Charles Shobe

Charles of Jeffrey City, WY – Tissue Donor

Local Connection: Charles Shobe of Jeffrey City, Wyoming was 89 years old when he gave the gift of life through tissue donation. His decision to become a donor helped to heal the lives of 18 people. Charles’s story is proof that you are never too old to make a difference.

What if I’m not healthy enough to be a donor?

Many chronically ill donors have also successfully given the gift of life. Even those with serious health conditions, like diabetes, hepatitis or even rare medical conditions, have helped to save or heal countless lives. Kate Gallagher of Monument, Colorado was one of those heroes.

Kate and Gail Gallagher

Kate with her mom, Gail

Local Connection: Kate was diagnosed with Budd-Chiari Syndrome—a rare clotting disease of the liver—and was placed on the waiting list herself for a liver transplant. Tragically, before Kate could receive a new liver, she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away. As an organ donor, she saved three lives: one of her kidneys went to a grandfather, the other went to a grandmother, and her heart went to a 12-year-old girl who had suffered a heart attack on the basketball court.

How can I help?

Right now, there are nearly 115,000 people nationwide, and nearly 2,000 people across Colorado and Wyoming waiting for a lifesaving transplant. One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and save and heal the lives of more than 75 others through eye and tissue donation.

You can help by saying Yes to becoming an organ, eye and tissue donor each time you get or renew your driver license or state ID, or anytime online at or

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