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National Pediatric Transplant Week: Ending the Pediatric Transplant Waiting List

Every year during National Donate Life Month we celebrate National Pediatric Transplant Week, a time to spread the message of ending the pediatric transplant waiting list and recognize those that have been touched by pediatric organ, eye and tissue donation.

Throughout the week, clinical partners are encouraged to share patient stories, transplant recipients can share their thanks, and donor families whose children have saved and healed lives through organ, eye and tissue donation are honored.

This year, National Pediatric Transplant week will be held April 18-24.

Donation & Transplantation Pediatric Stats:

Local (Colorado & Wyoming):

  • 33 children under 18 are waiting for a lifesaving transplant.*
  • The organ most in need for those waiting locally is the kidney.
  • There were eight pediatric donors in 2020.

National:

  • 1,850 children under 18 are on the national transplant waiting list.*
  • 1,766 children received transplants in 2020.
  • There were 860 pediatric donors in 2020.

*as of 4/12/21

Local Stories:

Gabriel, Pediatric Heart Transplant Recipient
“Pregnant with our first child, I learned that my unborn son would be born with a heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and would need a heart transplant immediately following his birth in order to survive. Not knowing what this meant, I struggled to make sense of all that was happening, but was determined to do the very best for my baby”… continue reading Gabriel’s story of hope.

Connor, Pediatric Two-Time Heart Transplant Recipient
Connor received his first heart transplant when he was just a baby, on Mother’s Day in 1992. Ten years later, Connor’s body began rejecting his gifted heart and he was placed back on the transplant waiting list. He received his second lifesaving heart transplant in 2005. Thanks to his heroic donors and their families, Connor is in his 20s living life to the fullest as a drummer in a punk-rock band and paranormal expert… watch Connor’s full story.

Babette-Donor-Dash

Babette and her daughter, Kayla with Brianna’s memorial sign at the Donor Dash

Babette, Pediatric Donor’s Mother
“When we were told that she would not make it, we knew that Brianna wanted to be a donor, because she had asked her Daddy what the heart on his license meant.” Brianna helped people when she was alive and she gave the gift of life in her death. Babette says they know that Brianna saved at least three people with her organs and now these families have a second chance at life… continue reading Babette’s story of hope.

The Driscoll Family, Pediatric Donor Family
“The decision to remove Liam’s ventilator was the most difficult decision we have ever had to make,” Lori said. “However, when we were approached with the news that Liam could be a heart donor, we made the decision to donate without hesitation”… continue reading the Driscoll’s story of hope.

Local Children’s Transplant Center:

Children’s Hospital Colorado has helped change the lives of children through transplantation for 30 years. As the only pediatric organ transplant center in the state, Children’s Hospital Colorado has performed more than 1,050 lifesaving organ transplants since 1990, including 119 transplants from generous living donors. Their heart, kidney and liver transplant programs achieve outcomes among the best in the nation.

Children’s Colorado is also home to the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, offering the region’s most experienced pediatric blood and marrow transplant and cellular therapy program where they’ve performed 1,000+ pediatric bone marrow transplants in their 25-year history. The hospital’s Blood Donor Center facilitates lifesaving blood and platelet donations to fulfill 95% of the hospital’s needs.

Ways You Can Get Involved:

As a reminder, for anyone under 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian must authorize donation. When obtaining a driver license, 15-17 year-olds may sign up with the intent to be a donor, but until they are 18, a parent or legal guardian makes the final donation decision.