Hand in hand, group raises organ donation awareness

Group holding hands to represent the circle of life.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) - Experts say every ten minutes someone is added to the national transplant waiting list. To bring awareness to the need for more donors,
a group gathered at Plyler Park in Myrtle Beach Sunday afternoon.

According to
Mark Johnson with LifePoint, an organization that provides donor services to hospitals across the state, about 1,000 people in South Carolina are on the organ waiting list. Nationwide, more than 113,000 people are waiting.

Johnson said signing up only takes five minutes online. "It says that I want to be an organ and tissue donor. Now it's no longer if you sign up in the register it's no longer left up to the family to make that tough choice at the time of death," he explained.

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Dean spoke at the event. Last year Dean donated a kidney to a North Carolina woman.

Alan Sipe attended the event to help save lives. His son Justin suffered from cystic fibrosis and needed a lung transplant. He died six years ago.

"We dearly miss him and we know we can't have him back, but we can certainly be here at events like this and again promoting organ and tissue donation and hopefully help some other family not to have to go through what we went through



said Sipe.

After a brief cerememony the group linked hands on the boardwalk to represent the circle of life.

April is National Donate Life month.