ST. CLOUD -- Every nine minutes someone is added to the organ transplant list.

April is Donate Life Month and area health officials are hoping to spark the conversation about donation and transplantation.

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Jennifer Seifert is the Director of Patient Care Support at St. Cloud Hospital. She says unless someone is personally affected, we often don't think about the great need surrounding organ donations.

There are by far more people who need a transplant then their are donors. Bringing this topic to the forefront is a great way to get this information to people and remind them of the need. It's a tremendous gift and truly changes lives.

Seifert says studies have shown roughly 17 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. She says one organ donor can save up to 75 lives through organ, eye and tissue donations.

Seifert says while the need is growing, there are some misconceptions that prevent people from becoming an organ donor.

Some people are worried about the cost, some are worried about their or their loved ones illness, are they a candidate, race and ethnicity is another one we hear.

Seifert adds there is a belief you have to die in order to be an organ donor, which is not true. She says living donors are also vital to saving lives.

Seifert says there are at least four ways to become an organ donor, with the easiest ways to register online, or by checking the box on your driver's license.


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