It’s official: we’ve reached

1 million with all of the 0s drawn as hearts

1 million organ transplants

1 million new beginnings

1 million reasons to be thankful

1 million second chances

1 million stories that began with an extraordinary gift.

1 million transplants

Meet Nicholas

Everywhere he went, he lit up the room.

Nicholas Peters had a heart full of love. A spirit full of joy. Always dancing, always smiling, everywhere he went, he lit up the room.

He never hesitated to help a friend. Or a stranger, who soon became a friend.

On his 18th birthday, Nicholas told his mom, Maria, that he’d signed up to be an organ donor.

“If anything were ever to happen to me,” he said, “spread me like the stars.”

On his 25th birthday, Nicholas lost his life in an auto accident.

In honoring his wish to be a donor, Maria and her family agreed, “That’s too much love and magic to bury in the ground.”

That love saved a grandmother in Texas.

That magic helped two women see.

That joy set a young man free from dialysis.

And Nicholas’ heart …

… gave 12-year-old Jean Paul the chance to be a kid again.

Maria
Jean Paul

In 2022, Maria and Jean Paul met for the first time.

Holding her close, Jean Paul said, “It felt like I was hugging her for Nicholas.”

Jean Paul and Maria meeting
Jean Paul in gym holding basketball
Maria dribbling basketball with Jean Paul in foreground

More than 37,000 heart transplants have been performed since 2010

Nearly 7,000 of these for children under the age of 18

1 million transplants

Meet Darrell

How can you put it into words when someone just saved your life?

How can you put it into words when someone just saved your life?

Darrell sitting in easy chair

10 hours a day, seven days a week, Darrell Smith’s life stretched no further than 20 feet.

10 hours a day, seven days a week, tethered to the dialysis machine that was keeping him alive, there was no staying late at his daughter’s dance performances. No mowing the lawn in the cool of a summer evening. No lingering after dinner with his family in the living room.

It was, said his wife Yolanda, like her husband’s life was yoked to a 20-foot leash.

Darrell
John

Darrell and John Dorroh were police academy classmates.

And when John learned that Darrell needed a kidney, he knew right away: he wanted to help.

On a spring day, in the season of new life, John shared the news: he was a perfect match for Darrell.

Kidneys are the most transplanted organ; on average, 68 kidney transplants were conducted every single day in 2021.

Rear view of Darrell and John sitting in car and talking

When John became Darrell’s living donor, he gave more than a kidney to his friend.

He gave Darrell those summer evenings. He gave Darrell the dance recitals. He gave Darrell swimming in the pool, backyard cookouts, movie dates with Yolanda.

How can you put into words, says Darrell, when someone’s just saved your life?

“He’s a brother now,” says Darrell.

“He’s family.”

Nearly 60,000 people have chosen to become living donors in the past decade

More than 6,500 in 2021 alone

1 million transplants

Meet Abby

For the first two years of her life, Abby Woodley was just surviving.

Diagnosed with a rare congenital disease, she had to fight for every day from the day she was born.

Close up of Catherine holding Abby's small hand
Abby on hospital bed attached to leads for monitoring
Dave kissing Abby through plastic protective curtain

Crisis followed crisis.

Hospitalization followed hospitalization.

Abby’s parents, Dave and Catherine, didn’t dare dream of their daughter’s future.

Some days it was enough just to hope she’d make it to tomorrow.

But at 2 years old, Abby received a new liver.

In the heartbreak of losing their own child, another family had selflessly given the Woodleys an immeasurable gift. A gift for which they feel boundless thanks.

“Without that gift, we wouldn’t have Abby.”

Abby painting at table with dad and siblings in background
Dave holding Abby's hands, helping her get out of bed
Joyful family portrait, mom, dad and siblings on couch

Today, Abby is an adored big sister.

A happy first grader.

A budding artist.

Laughing.

Playing.

Singing.

No longer just surviving.

Thriving.

More than 105,000 people are on the U.S. organ transplant waiting list

An average of 17 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant

You can make a difference.

A single organ donor can save up to eight lives.

A tissue donor can benefit as many as 75 people.

Watch the video: We all live one heartbeat at a time—voices of gratitude.

Join us

Help us reach the next 1 million even sooner.

Help realize the vision of a lifesaving transplant for everyone in need.

Thank you

Thank you to organ donors and their families for the selfless gift of life.

Thank you to recipients—you honor your donors by living it forward.

Thank you to everyone in the donation and transplant community—together we made it possible to reach this remarkable milestone.

Living It Forward partners include:

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