The giving continues: More than 60 percent of Michigan adults are now registered organ donors

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Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced Friday that the number of Michigan adults registered as organ, tissue and eye donors has topped 60 percent.

Johnson recently joined Gift of Life Michigan’s CEO Dorrie Dils to film a message for SOS staff, thanking them for their hard work reaching this goal on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. The video message coincides with National DMV/SOS Appreciation Week, Sept. 25-29, when donation advocates across the country will thank SOS and DMV staff for their help in saving and improving lives.

“About 85 percent of people who sign up do so through our Secretary of State offices,” Johnson said. “Our partnerships with Gift of Life Michigan and Eversight have produced hope for nearly 3,400 people awaiting a life-changing transplant, yet we continue to advocate for signing up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry because the need will continue to grow.”When she took office in 2011, Johnson learned that only 27 percent of eligible Michigan residents had signed up. She made expanding the organ donor rolls a priority but insisted that it be done at little to no cost to taxpayers. She directed her staff to start asking customers if they wanted to sign up, created a task force of leading experts and began promoting organ donor registration throughout her branch offices.

“Achieving this milestone reflects the generosity of Michigan residents and the dedication of Secretary of State Johnson and all of the SOS staff,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan. “Together, we are giving hope to the thousands of people who could benefit from an organ, tissue or cornea transplant.”

“Eversight is thrilled 60 percent of Michigan residents have made their wishes known in support of the gifts of sight, life and mobility,” said Alison Claerhout Wright, Eversight Director of Philanthropy in Michigan. “We applaud Secretary Johnson and her staff on their admirable work to make this exciting milestone a reality.”

More than 4,660,000 people are on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. Every donor has the ability to save up to eight lives through organ donation and improve up to 75 more through cornea and tissue donation.

Anyone can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, regardless of age or medical history. Go to www.ExpressSOS.com, call 866-500-5801 or visit any Secretary of State office.

For more information on organ, eye and tissue donation, visit www.giftoflifemichigan.org or www.eversightvision.org. To sign up to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry and to access some of the Secretary of State’s most popular services, visit www.ExpressSOS.com.

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For media questions, please call Fred Woodhams of the Secretary of State’s office at 517-373-2520.

Editor’s Note: To speak to a volunteer in your area, please call Tim Makinen of Gift of Life Michigan at 866-500-5801 or Alex Teska of Eversight Michigan at 734-780-2675.

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