April is National Donate Life Month
March 29, 2022
Indiana resident among longest-surviving recipients living with original pediatric heart transplant
Life’s been filled with significant challenges, monumental accomplishments for Lauren Aggen
INDIANAPOLIS – At birth, doctors said Lauren Aggen’s underdeveloped heart wouldn’t last three days. She needed a transplant.
Her condition worsened, and she was nearly removed from the national transplant waiting list when a donor heart was found. Then, at just 8 days old, Lauren received the gift of life – a new heart donated by a baby boy’s family in Texas.
Data from the National Association of Organ Procurement Organizations shows that Aggen, an Indiana resident now 32, is among the oldest living U.S. transplant recipients with an originally transplanted pediatric heart.
Her life has been filled with challenges. The drugs that kept Aggen alive while waiting for a transplant damaged her hearing. She takes 10 pills a day to help her battle rejection, regulate her blood pressure and protect her kidneys from further damage.
Those challenges, however, don’t define her – and never have. Lauren graduated college. She authored a book in tribute to her unknown donor hero and his family which she began writing at 13. She works for the federal government and recently married. Today, she’s a passionate advocate for organ donation.
April is National Donate Life Month, a time to raise awareness about organ and tissue donation, encourage Americans to register as donors, and honor those who have saved lives through the gift of life. Gov. Eric Holcomb has proclaimed National Donate Life Month in Indiana.
This year’s theme is “Bee a Donor,” inspired by the vital role that bees play in sustaining life. Bees are a small but powerful life force that work together with dedication, collaboration and a strong sense of community.
This National Donate Life Month, Americans are asked to become a part of this interconnected life-sustaining community by registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor; becoming educated about living donation; and championing the Donate Life cause.
Important National Donate Life Month dates:
- April 6, Donate Life Living Donor Day.
- April 16, Cabela’s Donate Life Day in Noblesville (Autograph session with NASCAR winner and Hoosier native Ryan Newman, family-friendly activities).
- April 16-23, Blue & Green Spirit Week.
- April 22, National Donate Life Month Blue & Green Day.
- April 24-30, National Pediatric Transplant Week.
For more about National Donate Life Month, visit Donate Life America online.
Currently, more than 106,000 Americans are waiting on a lifesaving organ transplant, including nearly 1,100 Hoosiers. More than 4.2 million Hoosiers are registered organ donors.
Despite age or medical history, anyone can sign up to be a donor online Donate Life Indiana online.
About Donate Life Indiana
Since 1998, Donate Life Indiana has been the state-authorized nonprofit organization responsible for managing the Indiana donor registry. Its mission is to save lives by creating opportunities for all Indiana citizens to sign up on the organization’s official state registry while striving to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation through public education. For more, visit Donate Life Indiana online.