The Livingston County Department of Motor Vehicles is partnering with Donate Life New York State to recognize April as National Donate Life Month, an annual observance highlighting the critical need for increased organ, eye and tissue donation in New York State.
During the month of April, the Livingston County DMV office urges all residents to learn more about organ, eye and tissue donations and to say “yes” to donation while completing transactions at the DMV.
Promotional items and decorations are on display throughout the month as a reminder of the importance of the gift of life. Also featured in pastel chalk art work by Geneseo Central School student Zachary Mogavero that features the “Donate Life” logo and seeks to raise awareness of organ donation.
Nearly 9,000 New Yorkers are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and 1,500 have been waiting for five years or longer. Each year, an estimated 400 men, women and children in New York State die because an organ does not become available in time.
About 42% of New Yorkers are enrolled in the New York State Donate Life Registry, an electronic database that documents a person’s consent to be an organ and tissue donor at the time of their death. The national average is 62%.
“As of Dec. 31, 2020, Livingston County had approximately 56.6% of our residents enrolled in the registry as a percentage of the county population,” said Acting County Clerk Andrea Bailey. “I encourage Livingston County residents to make a difference and give hope to those in need of a transplant by enrolling in the registry at the DMV, where nearly 80% of donors sign up or look for the Donate Life link on our website.”
All New Yorkers age 16 and older can enroll in the New York State Donor Registry, regardless of their medical history. The enrollment option is available on forms used to apply for or renew a driver license or non-driver identification card. New Yorkers can also enroll in the Registry while applying for health insurance through the New York State of Health and on voter registration forms. In addition, online enrollment is available at any time at donatelife.ny.gov/register.
“The staff at the DMV engages with the public on this critical health issue more than any other agency,” says Aisha Tator, executive director of Donate Life NYS. “The promotion of organ and tissue donation during Donate Life Month has a lasting impact on the number of registered donors and the lives that will be saved through transplantation.”
Donate Life NYS is a non-profit organization comprised of organ and tissue recovery organizations, health professionals and individuals whose lives have been affected by donation. Their mission is to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in NYS through collaborative advocacy, education, promotion and research.