1 Organ Donor Can Save 8 Lives.

This is the Story of Just 1 Survivor. #BreatheForCharles

Breathe For Charles

On a chilly Texas City, Texas evening in January 2016, Charles Espinoza awoke to the warmth of his loving wife while his 3-year-old daughter played in a nearby room. Proceeding to dinner and winding his little one down to go to sleep, Charles felt assured that tonight would be another one like the rest: filled with love and made productive by his work at a refinery. Charles made a habit of never walking out of the door without a proclamation of love for his wife and children and, in this regard, Charles believed that night was no different than the rest.

Two kisses and one sentence later, Charles went to work.

That night, everything changed.

At approximately 2:45 a.m., an explosion occurred. Shortly after, the regenerator, with the appearance of a dungeon, went up in flames. Charles, fighting to get out of the fire and back home to his family, suffered nearly fatal burns to most of his body. Life as he knew it had been changed forever.

After being rescued from the inferno, Charles was transported to a burn unit for life-saving treatment. It turned out that Charles’ burns were not his only worries. The fire damaged Charles’ lungs permanently beyond repair.

If he was to survive, he would need a lung transplant. He would need an organ donor.

Since organ donations are rarely available when patients need them the most, Charles’ hopes for survival, and the hopes of his family, began to dwindle. Unlike the 22 people in the United States who die each day awaiting an organ donation, Charles’ story was different. Doctors were able to match Charles with a lung donor. After a complicated surgery, Charles was given a chance of living.

With his family holding their breath and a team of dedicated surgeons refusing to let Charles go, the surgery was deemed a success.

Charles does have a long and incredibly difficult road of recovery ahead of him, and his life will never be the same as it was before that horrific fire, but Charles has his dear family beside him for now, thanks to someone Charles will never know.

Charles may never get to thank his donor, but every day, he gets to breathe for him.

And we can breathe for Charles.

Become a Donor

Did You Know?

  • 0 men, women & children are on the national transplant list

  • 0 transplants were performed in 2015

  • 0 people die each day waiting for a transplant

Be a Part of the Movement

  • 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation but only 48% are actually signed up as donors.

  • Every 10 minutes another person is added to the waiting list.

  • 10,000+ people die annually who are suitable for organ donations, yet only a fraction of them are donors.

Save a Life - Become a Donor

The Transplant Waiting List Continues to Grow

Each year, the number of people on the waiting list continues to grow while the number of donors and transplants grows at a considerably slower pace.

Help Accident Victims Return to Their Families

Register as an Organ Donor Today

As remarkable as Charles Espinoza’s story is, it’s successful only because of the mindful decision by Charles’s donor to register before tragically passing away. 22 people in our country die every day, waiting on the donor list. And while 95% of us support organ donation, only 46% of us have taken the initiative to register. Each one of us has the potential to donate 8 vital organs, meaning that our simple decision to donate – a process that takes less than an hour to complete – could potentially save 8 lives. Not only was Charles’s donor able to help Charles with new lungs, but thanks to that donor, four children and a very scared wife can now continue to be together as a family. You can possibly save lives just like Charles with a simple registration.

How to Become a Donor

Become an Organ Donor. Save Someone’s Life.

Your time right now could save lives in the future. Simply sign our pledge to #BreatheForCharles and then join the organ donor registry online today.

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Pledge now and we’ll send you a #BreatheForCharles bracelet!


Common Donor Myths

  • Myth


    • I have a medical condition, so I can't be a donor.

      Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up to be a donor.

    • I'm too old to be a donor.

      There's no age limit to organ donation.

    • I don't think my religion supports donation.

      Most major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider donation as the final act of love and generosity toward others.

    • If they see I'm a donor at the hospital, they won't try to save my life.

      When you are sick or injured and admitted to a hospital, the one and only priority is to save your life.

    • Rich or famous people on the waiting list get organs faster.

      A national computer system matches donated organs to recipients.

    • My family won't be able to have an open casket funeral if I'm a donor.

      An open casket funeral is usually possible for organ, eye, and tissue donors.

    • My family will have to pay for the donation.

      There is no cost to donors or their families for organ or tissue donation.

    • Somebody could take my organs and sell them.

      Federal law prohibits buying and selling organs in the U.S.

    • If I'm in a coma, they could take my organs.

      The majority of deceased organ donors are patients who have been declared brain dead.

    • People in the LGBT community can't donate.

      There is no policy or federal regulation that excludes a member of the LGBT community from donating organs.