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This Month, Donate Life

April 1, 2011-

As you are reading this, over 100,000 people in our country are waiting for something that could save, or significantly improve the quality of their life: an organ donation. Nearly 10,000 of these people are our fellow New Yorkers. And this number is ever-growing, with 118 people being added to the national organ transplant waiting list every day- one every 11 minutes. This month is Donate Life month, and is a time to help combat this growing list of people living on hope.

Every day, approximately 74 American citizens will get a new lease on life by receiving an organ transplant and I am very proud that our local Auto Bureau plays a significant role in saving lives through the New York State Donate Life Registry. I urge you to take some time this month to educate yourself on the facts of organ and tissue donation and make an informed decision on what is right for you.

Anyone can be a donor, regardless of age, race or medical history. Many people can be hesitant about organ and tissue donation simply because they do not know enough about the program or how to register. Registering as an organ donor is giving legal consent for the recovery of your organs, tissues and eyes for the purposes of transplantation and research at the time of your death. Signing up is easy, but there are specific steps you need to take. Simply signing the back of your driver’s license isn’t quite enough. The first step would be to discuss your wishes with your family. If you’d like to be a donor, make sure they’re aware. The next step is to sign up for the national registry.

Individuals can sign up and add the “organ donor” designation to their driver’s license or ID when obtaining for or renewing the document simply by filling out the quick, easy form found at any of our 6 Auto Bureau locations. The cashier will process the form and you will be added to the national registry. If your license shows a red “organ donor” heart, you are registered nationally, and you can remove the heart at any time.

I am proud to announce our partnership with Upstate New York Transplant Services (UNYTS) this year to promote education on organ donation. UNYTS volunteers will be on hand in our four largest Auto Bureaus throughout the month to answer any questions you may have about the organ and tissue donation process.

The average citizen gets very few chances to save the life of another. Through organ and tissue donation, you can. This April, celebrate Donate Life Month by educating yourself and making an informed decision. Your decision can be a precious gift - the gift of life.