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Thursday, April 16, 2009

St. Francis observes organ donation month, honors lives touched

INDIANAPOLIS – April 1st is neither foolish nor a joke to Diana Robinson. It was the day her life changed four years ago when she learned her liver was failing and that she would need an organ transplant.

“Getting placed on the transplant waiting list isn’t easy and it’s hard while you wait,” said Robinson, a unit secretary in a surgical unit at St. Francis Hospital-Indianapolis. “But considering how I feel today and understanding why my life was saved, makes those things seem insignificant.”

Robinson is one of many whose lives have been saved or affected by organ donations. And for this reason, St. Francis Hospital & Health Centers is again actively supporting April as National Donate Life Month.

St. Francis hospitals in Indianapolis, Beech Grove and Mooresville are flying the Donate Life Flag throughout April. The month is set aside to increase awareness about organ donation and to honor organ, tissue, and eye donors.

It’s estimated that nearly 30,000 Americans’ lives are saved annually because of organ donations. But the waiting list for patients continues to grow, according to Donate Life Indiana. Nationally, more than 101,000 are awaiting organs or tissue; nearly 1,100 of those people reside in Indiana.

Diana Robinson knows her “donor family” and says she knows the grace of God returned her to good health. She’s back at St. Francis and is enjoying life.

“I’ve been blessed and I am thankful everyday – not just some days,” Robinson said. “The gift I received is so very precious. I celebrated my fourth anniversary of the transplant on April 1st this year.”

To learn more about donation or to register to become a donor, people are encouraged to go to