On April 15, CarryAnn Misamore, of Mount Juliet, celebrated her one-year kidney transplant anniversary by hiking 14 miles on the Fiery Gizzard Trail to Foster Falls. The “Hike for Life” marks the first time she has attempted to hike the entire 14 miles of the trail since her transplant. After years of battling polycystic kidney disease, CarryAnn received the gift of life when her brother donated a kidney to her, as a living donor. Since her transplant, she has stayed active, enjoyed life, and continued to give back by sharing her transplant story with others.
CarryAnn partnered with Donate Life Tennessee to use this event as an opportunity to raise awareness for the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation and to celebrate National Donate Life Month. Celebrated in April each year, NDLM features an entire month of local, regional, and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as donors and celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.
In 2016, 334 Tennesseans gave the gift of life, saving 908 lives. Tragically, the need far exceeds the number of those who give. While most Americans are in favor of donation, many believe they are too old or unhealthy to donate, and others simply do not take the steps required to sign up or share their wishes with family members. Almost everyone can be a donor. Currently in the United States there are more than 118,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, over 2,900 of those live in Tennessee. Every day, 22 people on the waiting list die, while every 10 minutes a new name is added.
As of March 2017, over 2,120,000 Tennesseans have signed up on the state registry either online or through the Department of Safety. Tennesseans can register to be an organ and tissue donor by simply checking YES when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or state ID. A small red heart is placed on the driver’s license. Residents can also sign up online and specify their gifts by visiting www.donatelifetn.org