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Yuliya Ryvkina

500 individuals in Illinois and northwest Indiana said yes to donation in a single year; Tissue Operations receives award for helping to achieve 1 million tissue transplants.  

ITASCA, Ill. – Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network announced that for the first time in its history, 500 individuals in a single year have said yes to organ donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana, saving the lives of patients in need of organ transplants. This makes Gift of Hope and the region it has served since 1987 only one of three of the nation’s 57 designated donation service areas to achieve this level of organ donation.

Gift of Hope’s Tissue Operations led by Shaun Martin, Vice President, Tissue Operations & Facilities Management, has also been awarded the Partnership Award from Community Tissue Services for helping to achieve 1 million tissue transplants. Nationally, 2.5 million lifesaving and enhancing tissue transplants are performed each year.

“We are thankful for our donors and donor families who choose to change the lives of others by saying yes to donation,” said Harry Wilkins, MD, Gift of Hope President/CEO. “Each organ and tissue donation is a gift of life and healing to people in need. We celebrate and honor every donor and family who make the gift of donation possible. We also thank our Gift of Hope staff for continuously supporting our mission and all of the families and partners we work with.”

Earlier this year, Gift of Hope was part of the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) milestone of surpassing 1 million organ transplants nationwide.

The need for organ donation continues to remain critical with more than 100,000 individuals on the national waiting list for a lifesaving organ transplant in the United States.

To learn more about donation and offer hope to people in need of transplants, visit and join the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry or Donate Life Indiana registry.


About Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network

Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is the not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) that coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides public education on donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana. As one of 57 OPOs that make up the nation’s organ donation system, Gift of Hope works with 180 hospitals and serves 12 million people in its donation service area. Since 1986, its work has saved the lives of more than 23,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. For more information, visit