The Value of Donation

Thousands of lives have been saved through organ and tissue transplants at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and University of Iowa Children's Hospital. All of these life-changing stories were made possible by the generosity of organ and tissue donors and their families.

Iowa's transplant professionals are advocates for organ and tissue donation. They have assembled resources here to assist you in the important decision to become an organ and tissue donor.

Becoming a Live Kidney Donor

The University of Iowa Organ Transplant Center is the state’s most experienced living kidney donor program, having performed more than 700 living kidney donor transplants since 1990. Living donation takes place when a living person donates an organ (most often a kidney) for transplantation to another person. Learn how to become a living donor.  

Bone Marrow Donation

Bone marrow transplants can be life-saving measures for critically ill patients. The University of Iowa Marrow Donor Program is part of Be The Match, a national agency that registers potential marrow donors and matches them with individuals in need of a bone marrow transplant. You can register online to be a donor. A swab kit will be mailed to you to provide the tissue sample to successfully match you.

Organ Donation

We work with the Iowa Donor Network, the state's organ procurement agency. You can join the tens of thousands of Iowans and their neighbors who have registered to become an organ donor.

In addition to registering, you can do a few things now so your family and friends know you are willing to be an organ donor:

  • Talk to your family and friends and let them know that this is something you want to do in the event something happens to you.
  • Put a 'yes' on your driver's license when you renew your license. This act provides legal consent for organ, tissue, and eye donation in Iowa. It indicates your desire to be an organ donor, and is a guide to the medical staff and family at the time that something happens.

The Need for Donor Organs

From a physician's point of view
"We don't have enough organs to go around to treat the scourge of end-stage organ failure," transplant specialist Christie Thomas, MBBS, told a group of families meeting to celebrate the miracle of organ donation.
From a recipient's point of view
"Every day, people die waiting for organs. It's unfortunate," says organ donor and recipient, Jessica Ferrato. Read about the difference a kidney donation made to her life.
From a donor family's point of view
"Garrett saved five people, and he's a hero in our minds," says Tiffini Brockway, the mother of a 10-year-old organ donor, who's untimely accidental death, brought joy to several other families.
From two mothers' points of view
"We only could just pray that if someone were to lose a child that they would make the decision to donate their child's organs," says the mother of an infant heart recipient.