Donate Life Month: Donor's mother shares story

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- Friday is National "Blue and Green Day," part of Donate Life Month.

It's a chance to honor organ donors and their families, recognize survivors who have received transplants, and start conversations about donating.

More than 2,000 people in Colorado need a lifesaving organ transplant.

You can choose to donate your organs, eyes, and tissue after your death when you apply for an ID card or driver’s license. You can also opt-in as a donor online.

For some people, making this decision is easy.

Advocate Allison McKissen's son Tanner passed away after an auto accident in 2016.

"Organ donation was something that Tanner was very passionate about,” she said. “That’s a conversation that you never want to have with your child, I didn’t want to have it with him. But I am so glad now that we did."

For others, misunderstanding stops them from marking "yes" at the DMV.

“There are a lot of myths about organ eye and tissue,” Brianna Dipilato, with Donate Life Colorado said.

People are afraid that they won't receive speedy emergency care.

“Not true! That means nothing. The doctors who are saving your life are different than the ones that handle donation,” Dipilato said.

That's not the only misconception.

“We hear people all the time, 'I’m too old you, don’t want my organs,' not true. We want you to say yes,” she explained.

Dipilato said, she's met people who've received donations, and the families of donors. “You see both sides of the spectrum and how they both heal through donation and transplantation," she said.

That's why McKissen is still advocating: “To be able to see the stories that come out of organ donation, and know that my son still lives on in others. I think it’s really important to advocate.”