Many people have misconceptions about organ and tissue donation, which can discourage them from registering as organ donors. Each organ donor has the potential to save eight lives and improve the lives of 75 others. That\u2019s why it\u2019s important to dispel these myths. So here are 10 interesting facts about organ donation \u2014 some of which may surprise you.\n1. You can donate organs and tissues while you\u2019re alive.\nDespite increasing public awareness, many people are still surprised to learn that you can donate certain organs and tissues while you\u2019re alive. Living donors can go on to live a full, healthy life. UPMC has extensive expertise in performing living donor transplants, which help reduce the shortage of organs and allow patients to receive live-saving transplants sooner.\n2. Elderly and chronically sick people can become organ donors.\nNeither advanced age nor a history of serious diseases automatically disqualifies you from becoming an organ donor. Medical professionals assess your condition at the time of your death to determine what tissues or organs may be viable to donate.\n3. First responders and doctors work equally hard to save the lives of registered organ donors as they do nondonors in a crisis.\nYou\u2019ve probably heard the myth that a person\u2019s organ donation status affects the care they receive in a life-threatening emergency. However, medical professionals don\u2019t consider organ or tissue donor status until death is declared.\n4. Donating organs and tissue does not necessitate a closed-casket funeral for the donor.\nOrganizations that procure and process organ and tissue donations do so in a way that preserves the donor\u2019s dignity and appearance. Though this may not be the most common organ donation question, it\u2019s still an important one for most donors and their loved ones. Thankfully, it isn\u2019t an issue.\n5. Your donated organs and tissues can help or save many more lives than you\u2019d think.\nEight. That\u2019s the number of lives you can save by donating organs. And while that number is inspiring, Donate Life America reports that through tissue donation, one donor can save or enhance the lives of 75 others. And, through corneal donation, one donor can restore sight to two people.\n6. All major religions encourage organ donation as an act of charity and goodwill.\nContrary to some assumptions, leaders of all major religions have agreed that organ donation is among the most charitable acts, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). A conversation with your trusted spiritual advisor can clear up your concerns about organ and tissue donation.\n7. Social status, fame, net worth, gender, and ethnicity are never considered when pairing donors with recipients.\nNo one receives preferential treatment on the transplant waiting list. According to the HHS, a transplant candidate is prioritized by blood type, tissue or organ needed, medical urgency, and the cumulative time they\u2019ve been on the list \u2014 never by social standing or civic status.\n8. Donors\u2019 family members are not financially responsible for the recovery and processing of donated tissue and organs after death.\nThe costs associated with recovered, processed, and transplanted organs or tissue never fall to a deceased donor\u2019s family members.\n9. While the kidneys, liver, and heart are the most commonly transplanted organs, many more organs and tissues can be donated.\nSome life-changing transplants are not the ones you hear about. Organs like the stomach, intestines, lungs, and pancreas can also be donated. In fact, connective tissues, skin, bones, bone marrow, and even corneas can be donated, as well. Many inspiring stories about organ donation come from these lesser-known procedures.\n10. You can do much more than simply become a donor yourself.\nRegistering to become an organ donor is the first step to improving or saving lives. But there\u2019s much more you can do. Join UPMC\u2019s Donate Life conversation online, share this article with your social networks, and ask friends and family whether they\u2019ve registered. Host an event to raise awareness for an individual on the organ donor waiting list. Encourage more living donors to help by contributing financially to the American Transplant Association\u2019s patient assistance program.\nTogether, we can close the gap between the number of eligible donors and the number of people on the waiting list.\nTo register as an organ, eye, or tissue donor, visit UPMC.com\/DonateLife.