During April, Donor Alliance joined with Wyomingites and others around the nation to celebrate National Donate Life Month. The theme was “Show Your Heart” which encouraged individuals to share their support of organ, eye and tissue donation.
The Show Your Heart Project spotlighted the altruism of organ, eye and tissue donation in communities across Wyoming. Participants hid special cork hearts bearing personalized messages of inspiration to show appreciation for those who already signed up to be a donor and to inspire others to consider such an act of generosity. Amazingly, 59% of Wyomingites have already signed up to give the gift of life, but there is still more work to be done!
The Show Your Heart special cork hearts began their journey in Wyoming, and some traveled near and far, even reaching other countries! Fueled by the passion of our Advocates for Life and many supportive community members, hearts were carried from location to location and shared between friends and strangers.
Some gave hearts to family and loved ones as a way to initiate the conversation and share their decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Others exchanged hearts between recipients and donor families. All spread their support with social media posts and the #ShowYourHeart. Hearts from Wyoming traveled far and had a big impact:
- Advocates for Life, Cayde, a Pediatric double lung recipient, and her grandmother, Patricia, shared many hearts on their travels from Wyoming to Colorado to Houston. The special cork hearts were taken on vacations, shared with Southwest Airlines pilots and even traveled as far as Panama City Beach, Florida, Bora Bora and Pammakkule, Turkey!
- At the Wyoming Donor Dash, a nurse from Gillette shared her excitement to spread the message of donation with the cork hearts in her community. Several members of Team Rocky Mountain for the Transplant Games of America joined the Wyoming Donor Dash and personalized cork hearts to share at the games in Salt Lake City later this year.
- Cary, Advocate for Life and a donor family member, shared her brother’s heroic choice to be a donor throughout April at several community events. She decorated a heart in her brother’s honor and hid it at the Natrona County Library, hoping to inspire the stranger who found it to register to be a donor too.
Ryea’ O’Neill, Community Relations Coordinator for Donor Alliance, shared, “Consider that nationwide, every 10 minutes, someone is placed on the waiting list and it takes less than 10 minutes to decorate and share one of our cork hearts. This project showed how important grassroots community projects are for Wyoming and how big an impact one person can have!”
With nearly 200 Wyomingites on the waiting list for a lifesaving transplant, the Show Your Heart project helped shine a light on the need for organ, eye and tissue donation. You can help save and heal lives too by registering to be an organ, eye and tissue donor anytime online or at your local Driver Services office.