County Clerk Adam Bello and Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network representatives recently held a kickoff event for Donate Life Month to discuss the importance of signing up organ donors and New York State Department of Motor Vehicles’ role in helping 650 residents of the Finger Lakes region waiting for a lifesaving gift.
“From January through March of this year, our county-operated DMV offices have registered more than 6,000 people to Donate Life,” Bello said. “I’m proud of what our team has done so far, and we are continuing to challenge ourselves and the community to keep up our momentum. Our stepped-up efforts to promote registration are leading in to the start of our busiest time of year, jump-starting our 2017 goal of signing up 25,000 new individuals to the registry.”
“We salute the donors who have given the gift of life to help others in desperate need and their families who supported their wish to be a donor or made the decision on their behalf,” said Rob Kochik, FLNRN executive director. “April is a time to remember the selfless gifts and their impact and to raise awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation. We encourage everyone to make this very personal commitment to become a donor and to tell their family of their wishes.”
While Donate Life Month is an annual celebration, this year is significant because of recent state legislation that extends registration to 16- and 17-year-olds.
“Since we’ve began our campaign earlier this month, we’ve seen a 10 percent increase in Auto License Bureau customers saying ‘yes’ to the registry,” Bello said. “This is a promising sign that by expanding access to young people and more life-saving information we’ve been able to tap into the generosity of Monroe County residents, and we’re having an impact.”
One donor can save up to eight lives and make major quality of life improvements for up to 50 other individuals. In Monroe County, 32 percent of residents are enrolled in the registry, outpacing the state average of 26 percent. However, New York state ranks next to last among the states, which is why efforts to promote National Donate Life Month are important to boosting awareness and registrations, increasing the chances for lifesaving donations.
Residents can register with the NYS Donate Life Registry at all Auto License Bureau locations in Monroe County.
For information, visit health.ny.gov.