Donation Essentials Blog

American Cowboy and How the Spirit of the West Affects Organ Donation

What is the Spirit of the West?

In a tribute to the hardworking men and women who helped establish the American West, the U.S. Senate has declared July 23, 2022, the National Day of the American Cowboy.

Long before organ and tissue donation and transplantation were medically possible, there existed the idea of the “Spirit of the West.” While this expression has no definitive definition, there is a meaning behind the expression that those who live in the western part of the United States have come to understand and embody. The American Cowboy embodied the “Spirit of the West”.

It’s that idea of venturing into unknown territory to open up areas of thought, research or development. That sense of adventure and an understanding that we need to rely on our neighbors to assist us in accomplishing our goals. Hike a mountain trail, walk through a neighborhood, community, or sporting event and along the way, you will find other like-minded individuals who personify the “Spirit of the West” with a friendly smile in Wyoming.

The Spirit of the West Connection to Organ and Tissue Donation

This spirit is not only alive in our outdoor activities, it also thrives within the organ and tissue donation communities throughout Wyoming. The generosity of individuals in our communities keep this spirit of the west alive even after their deaths. Wyomingites continue to lead the country with the 4th highest donor designation rate by registering their decision to be organ, eye and tissue donors after death. This rate is consistently high from year to year and exceeds the national rate, proving that the “Spirit of the West” is alive in Wyoming and contributes to saving hundreds of lives each year.

spirit of the west organ donation communities in colorado and wyoming

Show your Spirit of the West – How You Can Help

Are you like the American Cowboy or Cowgirl? Do you have the “Spirit of the West”? Check your driver license or state ID for the designating heart symbol. It’s not too late to earn a heart on your license too! Say Yes to organ, eye and tissue donation by signing up online at Donate Life Wyoming,Donate Life Colorado, or at your local Driver Services office.

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