Increase in Organ Donors and Record Tissue Donation Year in Colorado and Wyoming Translate to More Lives Saved in 2015

Local organ procurement organization announces increase in registered organ, eye and tissue donors, 428 lives saved through organ donation and a record-breaking tissue donation year, translating to more lives saved and healed

Denver, CO—

Donor Alliance, the federally designated nonprofit that facilitates organ and tissue donation in Colorado and most of Wyoming, recorded another impactful year in 2015, helping save the lives of 428 people through organ donation and transplantation. In addition, the organization worked with 1,624 tissue donors and their families to recover lifesaving and healing tissue that will provide bone and skin grafts to thousands of recipients in need.

The organization, which educates the public on organ and tissue donation and manages the state donor registries in Colorado and Wyoming, also announced that 997,879 names were added to the registries in 2015. The donor designation rate, or percentage of individuals joining the state donor registry, was at an all-time high this past year in Colorado with 67.8% of the state’s licensed drivers and ID card holders on the registry and 58.6% in Wyoming. The two states maintained some of the highest donor designation rates in the country.

Donor Alliance facilitated organ recoveries from 134 donors in 2015 helping save 428 lives across the country. The most lung transplants (59) ever took place last year and the organization tied the record for heart transplants (54) in a single year.

We are encouraged that more than 400 people received organ transplants as a result of the generous gifts each donor and their family choose to give. In addition to families, we attribute this impact to continued partnership with more than 100 hospitals in our service area, four local transplant centers and the Colorado & Wyoming Division of Motor Vehicles, whose more than 80 driver’s license offices continue to advocate organ and tissue donation to the thousands of customers they serve each year. And despite these marked achievements more than 2,700 people in Colorado and Wyoming continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant. We are energized for a new year and as always, passionately dedicated to our mission to save lives through organ and tissue donation.
Sue Dunn
Sue Dunn
President & CEO, Donor Alliance

2015 was another landmark year for tissue donation and transplantation, including bone, skin, heart valve and joint donations. Topping 2014’s record year of 1,590, Donor Alliance worked with 1,674 generous tissue donors in 2015 and recovered enough tissue to heal or save the lives of tens of thousands in need. As medical technology advances and eligibility criteria expand it has become possible to utilize more types of tissue, which has allowed more people to give the gift of life through tissue donation. Additionally, Colorado and Wyoming’s increasing number of registered donors has translated into more tissue available for transplant.

“I know firsthand how difficult it can be to lose someone you love, but it has been healing for me to know that after Michael’s death he has gone on to help others in need,” said Kathy Guerrero of Erie, Colo., whose husband became a donor following his death last year. “It is heartening to know that so many other Colorado and Wyoming residents are making the same brave, generous choice.”

Despite the generosity of donor family members and the efforts of Donor Alliance staff and partner organizations, just over 2,700 people in the area continue to wait for a lifesaving transplant. For more information about donation, or to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, please visit or

About Donor Alliance

Donor Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. As the organ and tissue procurement agency for Colorado and most of Wyoming, Donor Alliance serves more than 5.8 million residents and more than 100 hospitals.

Donor Alliance adheres to the highest medical and ethical standards: respectfully working with the families of organ and tissue donors, maintaining partnerships with hospitals and educating residents on the life-saving benefits of donation and inspiring them to sign up on the state’s donor registry. Colorado and Wyoming boast some of the highest rates of donor registration in the country, which directly translates to more lives saved and healed through organ and tissue transplantation. Donor Alliance is one of 58 federally designated organizations of its kind in the United States. For more information visit or the Donate Life Colorado or Donate Life Wyoming Facebook pages.

Andrea Smith