National Pediatric Transplant Week: Raising Awareness of the 2,000 children on Transplant Waiting ListApril 25, 2023
Denver City, Texas Family Honors Four-Year Old Maribella Rodriguez Who Offered Life to Others
Lubbock – National Pediatric Transplant Week is recognized the last full week (23rd – 29th) in April of National Donate Life Month. This observance focuses on the powerful message of ending the need for a pediatric transplant waiting list. Throughout Pediatric Transplant Week, clinical partners share patient stories; donor families whose children have saved and healed lives through organ and tissue donation are honored; and recipient families share their thanks and milestone celebrations.
There are currently 2,000 children under the age of 18 waiting for a variety of organ transplants. More than 600 of them are younger than 6 years old. Although many of the conditions necessitating transplant can occur as early as infancy, the needs per age group vary. Most children ages 6 – 10 are waiting for a kidney transplant.
More than two years ago the Rodriguez family lost their loved one, Maribella Rodriguez, from anoxic brain injury after suffering from a seizure. They honored her legacy to change the lives of others through organ donation. “I strongly believe that when it comes time to donate, you should be a hero and provide a stranger with a blessing,” says mother, Kimberly Rodriguez.
Maribella’s donation saved the life of four patients on the organ waiting list. “To be honest donation was a tough decision, but we knew that she no longer needed her organs and someone else could use them. So they could be with their family a little longer,” adds father, Francisco Rodriguez.
“This week-long national observance recognizes the critical need for pediatric organ transplants,” says Larry Easterling, M.D., LifeGift associate medical officer. “National Pediatric Transplant Week is an opportunity to note the contributions made each day in restoring young lives while highlighting the critical need that still exists for additional pediatric transplants.”
LifeGift will honor wait list patients, donor families and transplant recipients on our social media channels. Be sure to join us in observing National Pediatric Transplant Week, April 23rd – 29th! Thanks to the generosity of donors and their families, organ donation saves tens of thousands of lives across the U.S. each year. To register as a life-saving organ, tissue and eye donor, visit www.donatelifetexas.org.