State Senator encourages Michiganders to join Organ Donor Registry
State. Sen. Kevin Daley (R-Lum) is once again taking up the cause of promoting organ and tissue donation.
Daley, whose son donated his organs after he lost his life in a tragic accident on their family farm, introduced a resolution last week to recognize April as Donate Life Month in Michigan.
“Organ, tissue, and eye donation can provide families that are tragically confronted by the death of a loved one the comfort of knowing the gift of donated organs and tissues provides another person with renewed hope for a healthy life,” said Daley. “This effort is very close to my heart and I’m proud to sponsor this resolution to help raise awareness about the importance of organ donation.”
While serving in the State House of Representatives in 2012, Daley sponsored legislation that created the Thomas Daley Gift of Life Fund, which enabled the Secretary of State to issue fund-raising license plates in support of Gift of Life Michigan. The funds are set aside to promote the need for additional organ and tissue donors, encourage people to sign up on the registry.
There are about 110,000 people in the U.S. who are waiting for a life-saving organ, including about 2,500 here in Michigan. Someone is added to the waiting list, on average, every 10 minutes in our country and as many as 20 people die each day waiting for a new organ.
“We are so appreciative of the support Sen. Daley has shown to Gift of Life throughout his impressive career,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “We are always grateful for any attention he can bring to this important topic. We are committed to honoring life through donation and Sen. Daley, through his actions, has demonstrated his dedication to saving lives and helping his fellow Michiganders.”
Gift of Life Michigan is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021. The state’s federally designated Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) was founded in November, 1971, by a group of transplant surgeons that sought a better, more efficient way of sharing life-saving organs. Since then, Gift of Life Michigan has honored the generosity of more than 9,500 organ donors, as well as more than 24,500 tissue donors, after that service was added in 1988.
Even with though the Covid-19 pandemic put a temporary pause on non-critical organ transplants last year, Gift of Life still recorded its third consecutive year with more than 1,000 organs transplanted. In total, 1,048 organs were transplanted from 374 donors, which represents about a 10 percent increase in donors over 2019.
Despite the increase in Michigan and across the country, Dils said more needs to be done to encourage people to sign up on the Organ Donor Registry, so that nobody dies waiting for a new organ. Gift of Life recently joined the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) in their commitment to achieve 50,000 transplants across the county by the year 2026. In this campaign, AOPO and its members will work with key stakeholders to implement a series of system-wide improvements.
“We look forward to a future of saving even more lives by joining up with this important initiative,” said Dils. “There are 58 OPOs in the country and we will all need to work together to achieve this significant milestone.”
For more on Donate Life Month, click here.
To sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, click here.