NEW YORK - New York State ranks near the bottom of the national list for registered organ donors and now, advocates are working to raise awareness of the urgent need for more donors.
“Organ donation, first and foremost, saves lives,” said Lauren Shields, who received a life-saving heart donation when she was just 9 years old.
After her operation, Shields worked with State Senator David Carlucci to get “Lauren’s Law” passed in 2013. Under it, New Yorkers who apply for a driver’s license are asked if they want to be organ donors. Currently, nearly 10,000 New Yorkers are waiting for an organ transplant and just 29 percent of New Yorkers aged 18 and over have enrolled in the state's Donate Life Registry, compared to the national average of 51 percent.
“There are thousands of people in New York State that are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant,” Carlucci said.
October 10 is Organ Donor Enrollment Day, and those who have received the gift of life say they hope more New Yorkers will sign up. You can register to be an organ donor at just 16 years old, and you can do it online at dmv.ny.gov.