Donation and Transplantation

Be a Donor! Surgeon operating image.

It took Garrett Stackman just six hours to save the life of a man he'd never met—a man with three children, a wife, parents and a lot of friends.

Stackman, who lives in Potomac, Md., donated stem cells to a New York man after he turned up as a match on the National Marrow Donor list. The stem cells saved the life of Jim Briggs, who had acute myelogenous leukemia but is now in remission.

"It's one of the more important things I'll do in my life," said Stackman, who added that he'd do it again in a heartbeat.  (Read more.)

Linda Cheatham calls every day "an ice cream sundae with a great big glob of whipped cream and a cherry on top" because a donated kidney gave her a life in which she can work and live normally. She speaks not just for herself, but for 10 members of her family who also needed kidney transplants. (Read more.)

Right this minute, more than 100,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for organ transplants that could save their lives.

At any given time, 6,000 people are searching for a matched bone marrow donor or cord blood unit.

They are all counting on people they probably don't even know to be generous and donate the organs, tissue, marrow and cord blood that could make all the difference.

HRSA oversees the donation and allocation systems that ensure these life-saving gifts are given fairly and efficiently to the people who need them most.

HRSA also works to increase donation, help donors and improve the health outcomes of people who have transplants.

Did You Know?

  • The number of people waiting for a donated organ in the United States surpassed 100,000 for the first time on October 6, 2008.
  • About 75 percent of those awaiting organs need kidneys—the most commonly transplanted organ.
  • Each year, more than 10,000 people with life-threatening diseases need bone marrow or cord blood transplants.
  • Only 30 percent of 10,000 people have a relative who is a suitable marrow or cord blood donor.
Date Last Reviewed:  May 2017