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Make a life-saving donation, please

After waiting nearly two years, former Vice President Dick Cheney received a heart transplant at Inova Fairfax Hospital Heart and Vascular Institute in Falls Church, Va., late last month. Cheney, 71, was released from the hospital Tuesday.

“As he leaves the hospital, the former vice president and his family want to again express their deep gratitude to the donor and the donor’s family for this remarkable gift,” read a statement issued by his office.

The generosity of an unknown donor gave Cheney a new lease on life. Others will not be as fortunate without your help.

April is National Donate Life Month, a time when we recognize those who have stepped forward and inspired others to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 28,535 transplants were performed in 2011. As of Wednesday, there were more than 113,700 people on a nationwide waiting list for an organ transplant. A new name is added every 10 minutes.

On average, 18 people die each day because a shortage of organs for transplant and, despite medical advances, the need continues to outpace the supply of organs.

In North Carolina, you may register as an organ donor when you apply for a driver’s license. You also may register through the Donate Life North Carolina website at www.donatelifenc.org.

If you are not currently an organ donor, please consider it during April. Your life-saving donation would be a blessing to someone in need.