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Donation Heart Ribbon

DMV Registers Millions Of Potential Organ Donors, But More Needed

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Aired 7/2/10

Nearly seven million Californians have registered to become organ and tissue donors. It's the fourth anniversary of the DMV's involvement in the effort.

— Nearly seven million Californians have registered to become organ and tissue donors. It's the fourth anniversary of the DMV's involvement in the effort.

San Diegan Michael McCrerey holding a picture of himself when he was dying of liver disease. He’s alive today because he received a liver from a man who signed up to become an organ donor.
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Above: San Diegan Michael McCrerey holding a picture of himself when he was dying of liver disease. He’s alive today because he received a liver from a man who signed up to become an organ donor.

People who come to the DMV to apply for a driver's license or ID card can sign up to become an organ donor. Statewide, only about one out of four applicants do so.

Thankfully for Michael McCrerey, a man in Chula Vista signed up a few years ago. When the man died of a brain aneurism, McCrerey got his liver. McCrerey was on death's door at the time.

"Palliative care and hospice was in my living room," McCrerey recalled. "I was in a hospital bed, had been told not to go home from the hospital because I probably would die. And I said, that's where I'd prefer to die, at home."

Last year, 95 San Diegans died waiting for a donated organ. More than 1,500 county residents are on the waiting list.

Comments

Avatar for user 'LIFESHARERS'

LIFESHARERS | July 2, 2010 at 8:35 a.m. ― 4 years, 3 months ago

Your story about Organ Donation highlighted the tragic shortage of human organs for transplant operations.

There are now over 108,000 people on the National Transplant Waiting List, with over 50% of these people dying before they get a transplant. Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage – give donated organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors will convince more people to register as organ donors. It will also make the organ allocation system fairer. People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at www.lifesharers.org or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition. LifeSharers has over 13,900 members at this writing, including 1696 members in California.

Please contact me - Dave Undis, Executive Director of LifeSharers - if your listeners would like to learn more about our innovative approach to increasing the number of organ donors. I can arrange interviews with some of our local members if you're interested. My email address is daveundis@lifesharers.org. My phone number is 615-351-8622.


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