Thousands of Minnesotans Waiting for Organ Transplants
There are 2,855 lives on the line in Minnesota today, with another 100,000 across the country.
That's enough people to fill both the Metrodome and Target Field combined.
Each are waiting for organ or tissue transplants. It's an issue near and dear to KSTP Meteorologist Ken Barlow's heart.
His brother died in a car accident in March 2010. He was only 42 and the father of two children.
Ken's brother was an organ donor and so far, his tissue and organs have helped to save the lives of 50 people and counting.
Wednesday, Governor Dayton honored the families of 120 donors, including Ken Barlow's. Each were given a Medal of Honor.
Each day, there are more people waiting than there are organs available. That's why KSTP is working with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to encourage organ donation.
Minneapolis resident Charles Long says a new heart saved his life. The 65-year-old has been on the waiting list for 2.5 years. He suffered from congenital heart failure.
Finally, a compatible heart became available last month. He's recovering now and will be on anti-rejection medications for the rest of his life.
He is so grateful for the donation. Long says he'll pay it forward one day. There is no age limit to be a donor. The oldest donor on record was 92-years-old.
The Mayo Clinic confirms another 171 people are waiting for new hearts right now in Minnesota. Nationally, 18 people die waiting for new organs, bone marrow or stem cell transplants.
A new name is added to the transplant list every 12 minutes.
To designate yourself as an organ donor: