HONOLULU (KHON2) — Mayor Derek Kawakami proclaimed April as National Donate Life Month at the Mo’ikeha Building in Līhu‘e on Monday. He was joined by heart transplant recipient Benny Lagmay during the morning proclamation. 

Kawakami said this month, they celebrate those who gave the gift of life through organ, eye and tissue donation.

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The County of Kaua’i reports nationally more than 116,500 people are waiting for a life-saving organ including nearly 353 in Hawai‘i. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the need for organs is growing almost twice as fast as the supply.

They report about 21 people die every day waiting for a donated organ because there are not enough to meet the need.

Kawakami said there are now 110 million registered donors in the United States and less than 600,000 registered donors in Hawaii, less than one percent of deaths qualify for organ donation.

Legacy of Life Hawai’i is a nonprofit organization and report being the only organization in Hawai’i federally designated to recover organs and tissue for transplant. 

The non-profit works closely with island hospitals to have a better understanding of their specific needs.

Their mission is to save and enhance lives through recovering organs and tissue for transplant; encourage organ donation through community outreach and education; and honor and support organ donors and their families.

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For more information on how to sign up, should you want to be an organ donor, you can head to the Legacy of Life Hawai’i’s website