April is National Donate Life Month

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April 2021

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A Message from Director Robinson

In recognition of National Donate Life Month, DC DMV wants to encourage all District residents to register and become an organ donor. My team and I have a close working relationship with the Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC) and Donate Life DC, and we understand firsthand the powerful impact organ donation has on District residents and their families. Many of our neighbors are dying needlessly because the organs they need are not being donated. Therefore, Team DMV is committed to raising awareness, educating the public on facts specific to organ donations, and registering donors year-round so we can save more lives.

DC DMV has made it even easier for residents to update their donor status, without visiting a DMV Service Center. Simply download our free mobile app by scanning the QR code below and click on the "Organ Donor Update" icon to become a donor.  Help save a life through the gift of donation. Thanks!

Download DC DMV's Free Mobile App TODAY and Update Your Donor Status!


Interested in learning more about becoming an organ donor? Click on the images below to check out these impactful videos!

Donate Life

Donate Life

Blake's Story

Blake's Story

Nikki's Story

Nikki's Story

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Celebrating National Donate Life Month: Paul’s Story

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(L to R) Paul and Ryan following surgery at Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute

Paul Johnson was on vacation in April 2017 when he noticed something was terribly wrong. His feet, calves and thighs were extremely swollen, and on the return flight to Washington, D.C., his feet barely fit in his shoes. Eventually, Paul was diagnosed with a rare genetic autoimmune disorder, and learned he would need a kidney transplant to save his life. While waiting for a transplant, he received dialysis treatment several times a week so a machine could filter his blood to keep him alive.

Many patients wait 5 to 10 years to receive a kidney transplant due a critical shortage of organs. Luckily for Paul, his friend Ryan Maddock agreed to be his living kidney donor. However, Ryan and Paul were not a medical match so the two participated in a kidney swap. This meant Ryan would donate a kidney to someone else whom he matched with and in exchange Paul would receive a kidney from a matching donor.

In July 2020, Paul and Ryan both went into surgery on the same day at Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute. That morning, Ryan donated his kidney to an anonymous recipient in Boston. By evening, Paul received a new kidney from an anonymous donor in Cincinnati. Since receiving his transplant, Paul is living a healthy and active life.

Currently, there are more than 100,000 people waiting for a lifesaving transplant in the United States and an estimated 1,600 of them live in D.C. Of the 1,600, more than half are African American and most of them need a kidney transplant. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure among African Americans.

April is National Donate Life Month (NDLM), a time to encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to honor those who have saved lives through the gift of donation. We hope you will consider registering your decision to be a donor today! Learn more at BeADonor.org.

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