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Each fall, donor centers across Texas organize a bike tour called the "Lone Star Circle of Life" to raise the awareness of the need for life-saving donations of blood, marrow, organs and tissues.

Non-professional riders, most of whom whose lives have been touched by donations as a recipient, family member or donor, are chosen to ride in the event. Each day of the tour, the participants ride in honor of a Texan in need of a transplant. Local areas select these honorees from their community.

The eight-day long tour typically covers 600 miles throughout Texas. Local events in communities throughout the route are planned to offer an opportunity to participate by donating blood, registering for the Be The Match Registry and signing an organ and tissue donation card. Recipients, donors and donor families also attend to share their experiences and answer questions.

Many organizations, companies and businesses also participate by offering sponsorships to underwrite the cost of the tour and help fund tissue typing expenses.

The Need for Donations

Did You Know?

Blood

  • One out of every 20 Texans will need blood at some point of their lives
  • It takes eight whole blood donations to provide the effective dose of one apheresis blood donation
  • Each year 20 million blood components are transfused

Blood is a vital, life-saving liquid with a limited shelf life, so the supply must be constantly replenished. Although one out of every 20 Texans will need blood at some point in their lives, less than five percent of the eligible population in Texas donates blood. Supply and demand fluctuate, which can cause life-threatening shortages!

Marrow or Blood Stem Cells

  • There are over 750 patients in Texas searching the registry for a matched donor (Texas ranks #2 in the nation for patients searching for a match)
  • 690,900 Texans have joined the Be The Match Registry in hope of helping patients in need
  • 3,062 Texans have donated marrow to patients in need through the registry.

Each year, 30,000 patients are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease that could be cured with a marrow transplant - if a match is found. Approximately 70 percent of the patients in need of a transplant rely on the National Marrow Donor Program to locate a volunteer, unrelated marrow donor on the Be The Match Registry. Finding a marrow donor match is a difficult process and nearly half of those in need will not find a match on time

Organ or Tissue Donation

  • Each day, an average of 18 people die while waiting for an organ
  • There are over 77 organs and tissues that can be transplanted
  • There are currently 120,000 people awaiting a life-saving organ transplant - 12,000 of those are in Texas

Transplantation is one of the most remarkable success stories in the history of medicine. It is often the only hope for thousands of people suffering from organ failure or in desperate need of a life-enhancing or life-saving tissue.

Organs than can be transplanted include heart, liver, lungs, kidney, pancreas and small bowel. Tissues used in transplant include bone, skin, heart valves, corneas, veins, cartilage and tendons. Texans can now register their intention to donate at www.donatelifetexas.org

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