GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — ECU Health Medical Center hosted a flag-raising event Wednesday to recognize Donate Life Month.
The event called, “Pause To Give Life” is all about the importance of organ donation and how this action can help save a life. During the month of April, Donate Life raises awareness about this. Wednesday’s event also took the time to celebrate the past 17 years, with the more than 50,000 Donate Life Flags flying across America, symbolizing the lives saved.
ECU Health officials raised the Donate Life flag at 10:08 a.m., followed by a moment of silence to honor donors and their families. The time 10:08 a.m. symbolizes that one donor can save eight lives.
“There are over 100,000 patients on a waiting list for organ donation with 3,000 of those patients here in North Carolina, we know that Eastern North Carolina disproportionately represents a significant number of that 3,000.”
Darice Fonville, a Greenville resident, spoke about her experience as an organ donor for her mother. She says her mom has battled chronic kidney disease for years.
“I know that dialysis can be really hard on people and if I could do something, if I could stop that, there’s no way that was happening,” Fonville said.
So to help her mother, Fonville donated one of her kidneys.
“I knew that it was something that my mom needed, not wanted, and we were a perfect match,” Fonville said. “So as soon as I found that out we matched, we were just gonna go for it.”
Fonville says doing this for her mom means everything to her.
“I would do it again ten-fold,” Fonville said. “I am grateful and I am thankful that I was healthy enough to be able to do that for her so that I could give her a piece of me. She gave me life so it’s payback right?”
She encourages others out there to save a life by being an organ donor.
“Think about if you have something to give, if you’re able to do it, if you’re able to save a life, if you can contribute to a family, and if you can give somebody more years with somebody that they love because it’ll come back to you,” Fonville said.
According to ECU Health, on average 80 to 100 donor transplants are performed at ECU Health every year, having the shortest wait times for recipients in North Carolina.