Who Cannot Be An Organ Donor?

We’re often asked who cannot be an organ, eye or tissue donor. The short answer is, no one! Everyone can register as an organ, eye and tissue donor and has the potential to save lives!

Even if you have a chronic illness or health condition, you may be able to give the gift of life to someone in need at the time of your death. Never rule yourself out, regardless of age, lifestyle or health.

What is the age limit to become a donor in Colorado?

Charles Shobe was 89 years old when he became a tissue donor.

Charles of Jeffrey City, Wyoming saved and healed 18 lives at age 89 through tissue donation.

There is no age maximum or minimum to become a donor. Heroes of all ages—from newborns to seniors—have given the gift of life.

In 2020, 1 out of every 3 people who donated organs was over the age 50. In our region, throughout Colorado and Wyoming, the oldest tissue donor was over 100 years of age! The oldest organ donor was well into their 80s! You are NEVER too old to say Yes and give the gift of life.

Local Connection: Charles Shobe of Jeffrey City, Wyoming was 89 years old when he gave the gift of life through tissue donation. His decision to become a donor helped to heal the lives of 18 people. Charles’s story is proof that you are never too old to make a difference!

What if I’m not healthy enough to be a donor?

Many chronically ill donors have also successfully given the gift of life. Even those with serious health conditions, like diabetes, hepatitis or even rare medical conditions, have helped to save or heal countless lives. Even if you tested positive for COVID-19 at some point, you can still sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor after death. Recovered COVID-19 patients may be eligible for organ donation at the time of their death. Kate Gallagher of Monument, Colorado was one of those donation heroes with a rare disease.

Kate Gallagher became an organ donor despite having Budd-Chiari Syndrome, a rare clotting disease.

Kate with her mother Gail, Organ Donor, Monument, CO

Local Connection: Kate was diagnosed with Budd-Chiari Syndrome—a rare clotting disease of the liver—and was placed on the waiting list herself for a liver transplant. Tragically, before Kate could receive a new liver, she suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and passed away. As an organ donor, she saved three lives: one of her kidneys went to a grandfather, the other went to a grandmother, and her heart went to a 12-year-old girl who had suffered a heart attack on the basketball court.

How You Can Help: Say YES to Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation in Colorado

Right now, there are more than 100,000 people nationwide and nearly 2,000 people across our region waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Thousands more wait for healing tissue transplants. One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and save and heal the lives of more than 75 others through eye and tissue donation.

The need is great and you can help by saying Yes to becoming an organ, eye and tissue donor. In Colorado, it’s important to say Yes and ensure you have the heart on your driver license or state ID.

Don’t have the heart on your ID? Are you ready to say Yes to saving lives today? Sign up anytime online.