Organ Donation

Giving Second Chances

You can leave a lasting impact through the gift of organ donation. More than 100,000 people in the US are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. More than 3,300 are waiting in North Carolina. A new name is added to the list every 9 minutes.

man and woman who are sad

What can be donated?

Make the Decision Now

By making this decision today, you can spare your family the pain of having to decide for you during a tragedy.

  • heart icon

    The HEART is a muscle that pumps blood and carries oxygen to the whole body.

    Common reasons for transplant:
    Heart failure
    Coronary artery disease

  • kidney icon

    The KIDNEYS clean waste from the blood, make urine, and balance fluids and minerals in the body.

    Common reasons for transplant:
    High blood pressure
    Polycystic kidney disease

  • liver icon

    The LIVER helps break down food, clean toxins from the body and store sugar for energy.

    Common reasons for transplant:
    Hepatitis B & C
    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
    Wilson's disease

  • The LUNGS help us breathe by sending clean air through the body and removing bad air.

    Common reasons for transplant:
    Cystic fibrosis
    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

  • pancreas icon

    The PANCREAS helps digest food and control sugar levels in the blood by producing insulin.

    Common reasons for transplant:
    Type 1 diabetes
    Type 2 diabetes
    Severe kidney disease

  • intestine icon

    The SMALL INTESTINE turns food and liquid into fuel for the body.

    Common reasons for transplant:
    Short bowel syndrome
    Not able to absorb nutrients
    Birth defects

make a difference through medical research

Common Uses

Unfortunately, not all organs can be transplanted. But donors can still save lives through medical research. Millions of people with conditions like heart disease, asthma, and diabetes are anxiously awaiting a cure or new treatment.

  • Understand the causes of heart disease and failure 
  • Learn about the side effects of prescription drugs
  • Study the causes of kidney diseases and find new treatment options
Pancreas/Islet Cells
  • Isolation of islet cells can help find new treatments and possibly a cure for type 1 and type 2 diabetes
Liver/Hepatic Cells
  • Isolation of liver and stem cells to treat liver diseases
  • 3-D printing to create new liver tissue to help create new drugs to treat liver diseases
  • Find new treatments for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Learn causes of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and create new drugs to treat it
Bone Marrow
  • Lower the risk of a transplanted organ being rejected by the body
  • Create bone marrow banking system to treat blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma

Our Organ Research Partners include:
Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center . IIAM (International Institue for the Advancement of Medicine) . LifeNet Health LifeSciences . Ossium Health . Promethera . University of Miami

We are also proud to partner with the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) on groundbreaking research. These programs include the study of life-changing therapies for wounded warriors from the US military, including hand and arm transplants. Another program seeks to help women with fertility treatments.

How Donation Works

Organ Donation Process

While organ donation is a beautiful lifesaving gift, it is rare.

Only about 1% of people who die will be able to donate.

people icon - everyone

Donors must

people icon - some

Donors must also

people icon - very few

Donors must also

people icon - only one

and LifeShare must

The organ donation process is a complex process involving many people working together to make one beautiful gift a reality.



  • Hospitals call LifeShare Carolinas when a patient meets certain medical criteria.
  • LifeShare reviews the patient’s condition to decide if they can be an organ donor.
  • LifeShare begins monitoring the patient to make sure donation is still possible.



Donation consent is given in one of two ways:

  • If a patient had signed up as a donor, we make every effort to honor that legally-binding decision.
  • If a patient has not made their wishes known, LifeShare asks their family to decide for them.

Medical History

Medical History

  • LifeShare completes an in-depth questionnaire with the family about the patient’s medical and social history.
  • This process ensures the safety of organs for transplantation.
Medical History



  • LifeShare puts the patient’s medical information into a national computer program.
  • That program creates a list of patients who may be a good match for the donated organs.
  • This system is designed to be fair and give organs to those who are the best match and are most in need.



  • Once all organs are matched with recipients, recovery surgery is scheduled.
  • Surgeons recover organs in a hospital or other surgical site.
  • The organs are carefully packaged and transported to the hospital, where they will be transplanted.

Donor Family Follow Up

Donor Family Follow Up

  • All LifeShare donor families can choose to be sent details about what gifts were recovered and how they were used.
  • Families can also join our Bridge to Healing program for support through the first year.
Donor Family Follow Up