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Organ Donation

Why become an organ, eye or tissue donor? By giving part of yourself when you die, you will save lives. Approximately 121,200 people are currently waiting for organ donation in the U.S. Thousands more are in need of tissue and corneal transplants to restore their mobility and sight.

Every 19 minutes someone dies awaiting a life-saving transplant. One person donating can save up to eight lives, in addition to enhancing or improving the lives of 50 or more.

Gundersen Health System partners with University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue program, Wisconsin Tissue Bank, and Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin to provide transplants to recipients from donor patients. When a donor is at Gundersen, organs, tissues, and eyes are recovered locally and sent on to the transplant center where a donation match has been made.

How Gundersen works with families

Gundersen Health System's commitment to saving lives through organ, tissue and eye donation exemplifies the organization's mission of providing communities with the best possible care. Gundersen's dedicated and expert resource team includes donation nurse specialists, donation liaison bereavement specialist, palliative care experts, spiritual care and child life specialists. This team aids in the donation process through:

  • Family education and resources
  • Remembrance mementos
  • Honoring of the donor with a flag-raising ceremony
  • Presentation of a Donate Life flag
  • Support care packages (snacks and hygiene products, etc.)
  • Donor family follow-up

Give to the Gift of Life fund

If you would like to directly support families whose loved ones have given the gift of life, visit Gundersen Medical Foundation's donation page and select 'Gift of Life (organ donation program)' as the designation for your gift. Your donation will help provide families with care packages, Gift of Life memorial flag and memory plaque.

Additional resources

What you need to know about organ donation

what to expect

We've taken steps at all our locations to keep you and our staff healthy and safe. Here's what to expect when you visit us.

Stay safe