BOSTON WWLP) – April is National Organ Donation Awareness Month.

New England Donor Services celebrated life-saving organ donations and placed a call to action to those not yet signed up to donate themselves. Representative Brian Murray started the event off, by recounting the work of his uncle, Dr. Joseph Murray. He was the first surgeon in the world to successfully transplant a kidney in Massachusetts in 1954.

Another speaker was Peter Bodenstab who received a liver transplant at the age of 3. Because of that donation, he has been able to live a happy, healthy life for 34 years. “I’m ever so grateful and so blessed that I continue this healthy life. I just really want to encourage everyone out there to make that selfless act, to go and become an organ donor, it’s so easy, it takes just a few minutes, and if you have questions or concerns, talk to your family, talk to your loved ones, it’s the right decision and it saves lives.”

Alex Glazier of New England Donor Services says if you’re contemplating becoming a donor, think about what you would want if you were in need. “If you would want an organ available to save your life if you were in the need of a transplant, or if a family member was in need of a transplant, if you’re willing to receive a transplant, then you should consider that you should be willing to give as an organ donor.”

Just last year in Massachusetts there were 255 organ and tissue donors, which resulted in nearly 1,000 transplants. Now, there are over 6,000 people waiting on the organ donation list in New England alone.

If you are not already an organ donor and would like to sign up, you can visit your local RMV or visit their website.