Every April during Donate Life Month, we plant a pinwheel garden to honor each lifesaving organ transplant performed at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center since 1967. Next April we will plant more than 12,000 pinwheels!
1 organ donor can save 8 lives and improve the lives of up to 75 more through tissue donation.
Donors’ kidneys don’t go to original recipients in five-way exchange at Ohio State.
105,000 Americans are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant– more than enough to fill Ohio Stadium.
Why choose to be an organ donor?
Transplantation is now considered a standard medical treatment for a wide variety of conditions and the need is great. More than 105,000 Americans are waiting for a lifesaving transplant today. Sadly, approximately 17 times each day a man, woman or child dies for lack of an available organ. They are waiting for someone like you to say “yes” to donation.
One person can potentially save eight lives through organ donation. Organs which can be donated include the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small bowel.
There are two options for organ donation: deceased donation and living donation.
- Deceased Donation: anyone 16 years of age or older can register with the Ohio Donor Registry to legally authorize to be an organ donor. It’s not comfortable to consider your own death. But did you know that less than 1% of registered donors actually qualify to donate upon their death? This is because deceased donation only occurs when the donor passes away in a manner in which brain death occurs. Only about one out of a hundred individuals in the United States will die through the process of brain death and have the potential for organ donation. Since this percentage is so small, it is vital that everyone speak up and say "yes" to organ donation. Learn more about deceased donation from Lifeline of Ohio.
- Living Donation (kidney and liver): a healthy person can choose to give a lifesaving gift of a kidney or lobe of their liver to a person in need. Living donors live just as long as non-donors and are back to normal activities in six to eight weeks. Learn more about living kidney donation and living liver donation at Ohio State's Comprehensive Transplant Center.
Consider organ donation and create a lasting legacy of life - be a Buckeye for LIFE!
April is Donate Life month - Learn more about our annual Pinwheel GardenEvery April the front plaza of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center becomes a beautiful tribute to the power of organ donation. Transplant recipients and volunteers plant thousands of pinwheels, each representing a lifesaving transplant performed at Ohio State since 1967.
Understanding the need for organ and tissue donorsNot every death results in donation. In 2021, 641 Ohioans shared the gift of life through organ donation at the time of their death. With 105,000 Americans in need of a lifesaving organ transplant, the number of patients waiting significantly exceeds the number of organs available.
Pinwheel flag honoring individual donors who gave the “gift of life”As central Ohio’s only adult transplant center, Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center is committed to raising awareness for organ donation. To recognize each individual who gives the extraordinary “gift of life” upon their death at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center, our pinwheel flag will be raised on the front plaza of Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center in their honor.
The ever-turning pinwheel symbolizing the “gift of life” has eight spokes supported by one stem, representing the eight lives potentially saved by one hero’s decision to be an organ donor.
Three more ways to register as an organ donor
Register at the BMV
Register by Mail
Our Latest 'Buckeye For Life' News
Organ Donor Stories
Finding closure through organ donation
A grieving mother chose to make a directed organ donation to a friend in need of a liver transplant.
Two mothers, friends for over 30 years, are bonded by more than friendship as one mother donates her late son's kidney to her friend's ill son at Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center through directed donation.
Meet Lisa Hawley. Her mother Patty Bruck was outgoing, gregarious and a die-hard buckeye fan - a person full of life. That life was cut short at age 46 by a brain aneurysm. As a registered organ donor, Patty donated her liver, heart and both kidneys.