Donate Life Illinois and the nationwide Donate Life America donation and transplant community it belongs to reached a major milestone this month—100 million people in the United States, including 6 million in Illinois, have registered as organ, eye and tissue donors through state donor registries like the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry.
“Reaching this milestone is a testament to our human nature and our willingness to work together for the greater good,” said Jerry Anderson, President/CEO of Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, a Donate Life Illinois coalition member that coordinates organ and tissue donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana. “But, as we celebrate this achievement, the need for transplants continues to rise. More than 112,000 men, women and children nationwide—including nearly 5,000 in Illinois—await lifesaving organ transplants today. Thousands more await tissue transplants to help them return to productive living. We need more donors to continue saving and enhancing more lives. Illinoisans are encouraged to register as donors by visiting DonateLifeIllinois.org.”
To date, the Illinois Organ/Tissue Donor Registry has registered nearly 6 million organ, eye and tissue donors—about 57 percent of all people eligible to register in the state. “With nearly 5,000 people in the state awaiting organ transplants—and thousands more in need of cornea and tissue transplants—it is critical to continue increasing the number of registered donors,” Anderson said. “Each person who registers as a donor offers the gift of hope to thousands of men, women and children in need of transplants to return them to leading productive and fulfilling lives with their loved ones.”
As the nation celebrates this great national achievement—100 million registered donors—Donate Life America and its network of state teams and partner organizations continue their work to save and enhance lives, Anderson added. “We are not content with the achievements we have realized to date,” he said. “Our goal is to add 20 million more registered donors by the end for 2012 to save and enhance even more lives. Illinoisans are encouraged to help the donation and transplantation community achieve that 2012 goal by registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor at DonateLifeIllinois.org.”