CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Under the shade of the bridge that links Mount Pleasant to Charleston, dozens of people linked hands to bring awareness to the importance of life-saving organ donations.
Linking Hands for Life is part of four events going on across the Palmetto State this month. Hands will also be linked in Greenville, Columbia and Myrtle Beach.
These events are all part of "20 Million in 2012", a national initiative that bringing donors, recipients and their families together in events across the country, during the next several months.
Waiting for donors
Mark Johnson, Media Relations Coordinator for LifePoint, knows the importance of organ donation first hand.
"My best friend died waiting for a transplant about five years ago," Johnson said. "He needed a liver transplant and knew that for 10 years but he couldn't get on the waiting list, because there's such a shortage, until he was really in a dire need. So for two years he was on the waiting list and then his time just ran out. He didn't get his transplant."
That loss inspired Mark to leave his career in meteorology and begin a new career with LifePoint, a federally designated Organ Procurement Organization for organ recovery services in South Carolina.
He says stories like his friend's are far too common across the United States. He hopes events like these help to raise awareness for the need of more people to register to become a donor.
"We have a thousand people in South Carolina, right now, on that waiting list and if more people don't donate, ultimately many of those could die," said Johnson. "And that number grows to 113,000 across this country, and that's more people than would fill Williams Brice or Death Valley."
Location:Charleston, South Carolina