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MADISON – Donate Life Wisconsin, a non-profit collaborative of healthcare organizations and professionals, announced recetly that this year’s National Donate Life Month marks the fifth anniversary of the Wisconsin Donor Registry (https://health.wisconsin.gov/donorRegistry/public/donate.html). Since the registry was launched in 2010, nearly 4,000 lives in Wisconsin have been saved through organ donation and thousands more improved through eye and tissue donation. To date, more than 2.6 million eligible Wisconsin residents have legally registered their decision to be a donor upon their passing.
“That’s more than half of the eligible donors in our state,” said Joanne Grunau, President of Donate Life Wisconsin. “The online registry has made it easy to make the decision to donate official. But there are still nearly two million eligible Wisconsin residents – including many with orange dots on their driver’s licenses or state IDs – who are not yet legally registered donors. We’re urging all residents to check the date of your dot.”
With state residents only renewing their licenses once every eight years, many drivers may have orange dots but are not yet officially noted as donors on the registry. Drivers with a license, or residents with a state ID, dated before March 29, 2010 (even those with an orange donor dot) need to spend just one minute online to legally register as an organ, tissue and eye donor at YesIWillWisconsin.com.
“For those who don’t yet have an orange dot and are not yet registered donors, there is no need to wait until your license is up for renewal. You can register right now online as an organ, tissue and eye donor,” Grunau said. “Make your decision known and legal. It’s the critical difference between saying ‘I want’ and ‘I will,’ between stating your intent and providing your consent.”
Documenting donation decisions on the Wisconsin Donor Registry provides healthcare professionals with immediate access 24/7 to confirm a donor’s decision and then to share that information with loved ones as they work together to honor the donor’s choice. This not only spares loved ones from difficult decisions, but saves precious minutes for those needing life-saving and life-improving transplants.
“Any one of us someday could need a transplant,” said Martha Mallon, Organ and Tissue Donation Program Director with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Division of Public Health. “People with high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, burns and other common illnesses and injuries are on wait lists for transplants that can save or improve their lives.”
About 2,350 Wisconsin residents are currently awaiting transplants and every ten minutes another person is added to the national transplant wait list. An individual donor can save or improve up to 50 of those lives.
To register as an organ, tissue and eye donor, individuals must be older than age 15½ and have a driver’s license or state ID. Everyone who authorized donation at the Department of Motor Vehicles after March 29, 2010, is legally registered.
About Donate Life Wisconsin
Donate Life Wisconsin (www.donatelifewisconsin.org) (DLW) is a 501(c)3 statewide collaborative and affiliate of Donate Life America. DLW members include organ, tissue and eye recovery organizations, transplant hospitals, kidney and liver foundations and others who work together to save and enhance lives and motivate everyone to become organ, eye and tissue donors.