Lifebanc marking 30 years of helping to save lives

AKRON | Ariel Hakim

Lifebanc’s annual Gift of Life Walk and Run, which is open to all, will be held June 11. The event includes 5K and 10K runs and a family fun walk. Participants on the Cleveland Clinic Team in last year’s event are shown above.

NORTHEAST OHIO — Lifebanc, the nonprofit organization that facilitates organ donation in Northeast Ohio, is celebrating 30 years of existence in 2016.

One way to honor the milestone is with the Transplant Games coming to Cleveland in June, but the organization will spend most of its 30th year continuing to fulfill its mission the same way it always has, by working toward a future where everyone who is waiting for an organ transplant receives one.

In Ohio, there are more than 3,500 people on the national waiting list, and approximately 2,000 live in Northeast Ohio, according to organization officials.

Lifebanc, which serves 20 counties in Northeast Ohio, is one of seven original organ procurement organizations in the U.S., according to Jillian Frazier, Lifebanc’s director of development and community services. When the federal government saw the need for organ recovery in the medical transplantation process and Congress passed the National Organ Transplant Act in 1984, the act called for the creation of a national registry for organ matching. It also provided grants to start organ procurement organizations such as Lifebanc, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Continue reading