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Celebrating the Gift of Life: The Best Quotes about Organ Donation (2024)

Organ transplants transform lives and reshape futures—and these life-saving procedures wouldn’t be possible without a selfless decision from an organ donor.

At Help Hope Live, our nonprofit helps transplant candidates, recipients, and donors to fundraise for the gift of life.

Learn about the impact of transplantation with the organ donation quotes we share below, then take your understanding even further by learning about the cost of an organ transplant and how our nonprofit can help through community-based fundraising.

A graphic reads Touched by Transplant with the Help Hope Live: Trusted Medical Fundraising logo and a decorative image of a flowering vine in green and blue.

Best Quotes About Organ Donation

These quotes are from Help Hope Live clients and community members to celebrate our collective gratitude at the impact of organ donation.

“There is one thing I know about my donor: no matter what they did while they were here on Earth, they died a hero. They saved my life, and that’s a debt I can never repay.” -Help Hope Live client and pancreas transplant recipient John Wilson

“I believe hope is incredibly important, especially in the world of transplants.” -Help Hope Live client Ambassador and heart transplant recipient Pat McEntee

“A lot of what I do is to honor my donor. I still can’t believe I am able to do all of this thanks to my donor. Every day, I think about it in one way or another.” -Help Hope Live client Ambassador and heart transplant recipient Bill Soloway

“I got the lungs of an angel—a hero—lungs that were a perfect match for me. I have a newfound and deep appreciation for organ donors and their families. There is nothing that I can do or say to thank them enough. But what I can do is celebrate my donor and their family for their selfless sacrifice. I can do that by talking about them, advocating for organ donation, and living life to its fullest potential.” -Help Hope Live client and lung transplant recipient Pamela Andersen

“I never used to pay that much attention to organ donation, but I’m tremendously glad for it: it turned out that I was one of the ones in need. I hope my donor’s family will be blessed a thousand times for their sacrifice.” -Help Hope Live client and kidney transplant recipient Karl Black

“We are thanking God for our organ donor. What gave one family utter despair gave us great joy.” -Rach Thurston, wife of Help Hope Live client and kidney transplant recipient Tom Thurston

“To me, transplant represents life and hope. Although none of us know when we may lose our life, my husband’s transplant gave us hope that we may be able to spend many more years together with each other and our families.” -Maxine Billings, wife of Help Hope Live client and liver transplant recipient Tony Billings

When I think back on my life just four years ago, the circumstances were dire. I wasn’t sure if I would still be alive in six months—now, I’m a mommy, all because someone said yes to being an organ donor.” -Help Hope Live client and living donor liver transplant recipient Amanda Washek

“Three other lives were saved that night by my donor, my hero, and I was given a new heart and a new start. My light shines even brighter now.” -Help Hope Live client and heart transplant recipient Renee Houghton

“He feels a duty to honor the gift he has been given, the donor, and the donor’s family. He sees life in a whole new perspective now—he will not take for granted one second of his new beginning.” -Deborah Curry, wife of Help Hope Live client and heart & kidney transplant recipient Mark Curry

“When it comes to understanding the transplant journey and discovering the truth about transplantation, open your heart and open your mind. Oh, and put that special designation on your driver’s license!” –Nelson Omar Freytes, founder of Transplant News

“I was ‘recalled to life’ by this gift from my donor’s family. I recently had the joy of connecting with his mother—her son’s lungs live in me, and I am grateful every day.” -Help Hope Live client and lung transplant recipient Nancy Kyllingstad

“I have not only been touched by transplant; I have been saved by a transplant. I know that I am one of the lucky ones, and I am forever grateful for this. My brother made the greatest sacrifice to give me the greatest gift. There is no greater gift than donating life.” -Help Hope Live client and living donor kidney transplant recipient Jessie Hallowell

Best Organ Donation Quotes from Celebrities

“The decision to become a donor can save up to eight lives and enhance many more—men, women, and children who depend on the generosity and sacrifice of others. I encourage individuals of all ages and backgrounds to consider this unique opportunity to help those in need and to discuss this choice with friends and family.” -Barack Obama, former President of the United States

“You are a piece of the puzzle of someone else’s life. You may never know where you fit, but others will fill the holes in their lives with pieces of you.” -Bonnie Arbon, writer

“Wherever a man turns, he can find someone who needs him.” -Albert Schweitzer, polymath and theologian

“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” -John Wooden, basketball coach

“The measure of life is not its duration but its donation.” -Peter Marshall, entertainer

“There will be a time when all of the pieces will fit together.” -Nitya Prakesh, writer

“Act as if what you do will make a difference. It does.” -William James, philosopher and psychologist

“I would donate whatever anybody would take.” -George Clooney, actor

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” -Muhammad Ali, boxer

“Life fractures us all into little pieces. It harms us, but it’s how we glue those fractures back together that make us stronger.” -Carrie Jones, writer

“I’ve learned there’s power deep down inside yourself, and you can find it when you don’t give up on yourself and when you ask for help.” -Selena Gomez, artist

“You know that family is going to be there for you no matter what—my dad gave me a freakin’ kidney! But it’s also [about] the families that you create outside of your family.” -Sarah Hyland, actor

“The only gift is a portion of thyself.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson, author and poet

“Have you had a kindness shown?

‘Twas not given for thee alone.

Let it travel down the years,

Let it wipe another’s tears,

Till in Heaven the deed appears,

Pass it on, pass it on.

Did you hear the loving word?

Like the singing of a bird?

Let its music live and grow,

Let it cheer another’s woe,

You have reaped what others sow,

Pass it on, pass it on.

Hold your lighted lamp on high,

Be a star in someone’s sky,

He may live who else would die,

Pass it on, pass it on!”

-Excerpts from “Have you had a kindness shown?” hymn, Reverend Henry Burton

Touched by Transplant: Terri and Bruce

This year, one of our Help Hope Live staff members was personally impacted by the gift of life.

Terri and Bruce Carlson

In February 2020, Terri Carlson from our Finance Department lost her husband, Bruce Carlson, an accomplished professional, dog lover, home DIYer, home chef, golfer, and, above all, exceptionally loving husband and father. “He was a giving person who would always be the first to help anyone in need,” explained Terri. “Bruce elected to be an organ donor a long time ago. When we learned from his doctors that he had no chance of survival, my kids and I met with a representative from the Gift of Life Donor Program.

That rep was so compassionate as my kids faced their first real-life adult decisions. We made the decision together, and we gained a sense of comfort knowing that we were honoring Bruce’s wishes. We knew that he would live on in others, which gave all of us a sense of purpose within what seemed like a senseless loss.”

Terri learned that her family would receive a letter every time Bruce helped someone—some donor families receive notices up to 15 years after the donation takes place.

On April 22, two months after Bruce passed away, Terri received the first letter.

More Organ Donation Quotes and Insights

You can learn more about the life-changing power of organ donation by reaching stories from our Touched by Transplant series, which we update every year for Donate Life Month in April.

Get Help with Transplant Costs

If you or someone you care about is struggling with the out-of-pocket costs of transplant, our nonprofit Help Hope Live can provide support.

We help start community-based fundraising campaigns for transplant patients backed by one-on-one fundraising help, medical verification, tax-deductible donations, and other unique nonprofit benefits.

Donate to a Trusted Transplant Charity

Every month, our nonprofit helps communities to bring the gift of life within reach, making life-changing transplants possible.

No transplant patient should have to face the financial burden of the gift of life alone.

If you want to help bring transplants within reach, donate to our trusted nonprofit Help Hope Live today.

Written by Emily Progin