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Gift of Life Stories

Read these inspiring stories about how organ and tissue donation and transplantation touches and transforms lives.

Learn About Organ & Tissue Donation

How Does Organ and Tissue Donation Work?

Gift of Life coordinates the recovery of organs and tissues for transplant. The complex organ and tissue donation and transplant process involves collaborating with highly skilled medical professionals at many different levels.

The Waiting List

The first step of the transplant journey is the national waiting list managed by The United Network for Organ Sharing. Currently, there are more than 114,000 people waiting for life-saving organs because there are not enough donor organs for everyone who needs them.

Living Donation

Thousands of lives are saved each year thanks to the unselfish generosity of living donation, which is an increasingly viable option for patients awaiting transplantation.

Writing to Donor Families

As a transplant recipient, you may want to write to the family of your donor to share information about your renewed life and to express your gratitude. Here is a resource to aid in finding the right words.

About Gift of Life Donor Program

Gift of Life Donor Program is the largest organ procurement organization (OPO) in the United States, serving more than 11 million people across the eastern half of Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. We help and heal lives by coordinating the recovery and distribution of organs and tissues used in life-saving and life-enhancing transplants.

Our Impact in 2020

619
Organ Donors
1,619
Organs Transplanted
1,385
Musculoskeletal Donors
1,726
Cornea Donors

News & Updates

A Miracle on Top of a Miracle

A transplant recipient reflects on her transplant journey which allowed her to achieve her dream of starting a family.

Special education teacher vows to keep legacy alive for heart donor

Jessica Will has always had a heart for others. The wife and mom was busy living life as a special education teacher, when she began to feel weak. She knew what was happening. When she was just 6 years old, Will had bladder cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and radiation which saved her life but damaged her heart.

12-year-old boy from Catasauqua gets heart

12-year-old Dillan just celebrated his first Christmas after receiving his new heart! Him and his family, from Lehigh Valley, shed light on their gratitude and hope for the future.

COVID-19 Resource: If You Are at Higher Risk

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

Cynthia London, Celebrating 22 Years of Service

Gift of Life is celebrating the contributions of volunteer ambassador, board member, and donor mom Cynthia London. Cynthia became connected with Gift of Life 22 years ago when her son Sipho became an organ donor.

Donor Mom Dawn Ortiz Shares Story of Son Rickey

Meet donor mom Dawn Ortiz, whose son Richard checked the box to be a donor when he went for his driver’s permit as a teen. Sadly, he lost his life at the age of 21, but his mother says her son ‘lives on in other ways.’

Lodging and Support for Families

A supportive “Home Away from Home” for transplant patients and their families.

Organ and Tissue Donation Professionals

An international training center and consulting service for organ donation professionals.