DENVER (KDVR) — Coloradans are known for being a generous bunch, and the latest numbers from Donor Alliance only back that up.
Sixty-eight percent of Coloradans have signed up to donate organs upon death, the highest number in the entire country, per Donor Alliance.
“The gift of life is the greatest gift that you can give, and it’s really the most selfless gift as well,” Brianna DiPilato, of Donor Alliance said.
The agency helps connect those in need of transplants with suitable donors across the entire state of Colorado and most of Wyoming.
Last summer, Christy Schultz made the decision to donate her daughter Sammie’s organs following a car crash in Parker.
“When they came to us, we immediately knew that was something we wanted to do,” Schultz said. “She liked to help people, and we knew she would want to be able to help people.”
Her daughter’s kidneys, liver, lungs, heart valve, eyes, and more were all donated to various recipients.
Schultz says she recently received a letter from one of them.
“It made me cry,” she said. “It’s just a good feeling to know, we didn’t get our miracle, but we can give other families the miracle they are praying and asking for.”
Schultz admits it’s a difficult conversation to have with loved ones, especially children, but recommends having it before you need to make the decision.
She was surprised to learn her daughter could still have an open-casket funeral, even with the donations.
“I just think it’s such an amazing gift you can give to somebody else, and a great way to pass on your legacy as well,” she said.
You can register to be an organ and tissue donor by checking “yes” when prompted when renewing your driver’s license or state-issued ID.
You can find out more about organ donation here: https://www.donoralliance.org/.