‘Lauren’s Law’ signed by governor

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Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

Proos worked with Niles man on organ donor registry initiative

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed Sen. John Proos’ legislation, known as “Lauren’s Law,” to help increase the number of registered organ donors in the state.

“There are thousands of Americans currently in need of a life-saving organ transplant,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “While about half of Michigan adults are currently registered as organ donors, it’s not enough to meet the need. Lauren’s Law will ensure that we are doing everything possible to give the gift of life to those in need of an organ transplant.”

According to Donate Life America, more than 120,000 men, women and children nationwide currently need an organ transplant; every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list; and an average of 21 people die each day waiting for an available organ.

In Michigan, there are more than 3,500 people currently awaiting a transplant. In many cases, the transplant has the potential to save the recipient’s life.

Public Act 451 of 2016 requires the secretary of state’s office to inquire whether someone wishes to be added to the Michigan anatomical gift donor registry when the individual applies for a driver’s license.

The new act is named “Lauren’s Law” after Lauren Shields, who at age 9 was placed on life support while waiting for a heart transplant, which she eventually received. She became the public face of organ donation in New York and helped pass a similar law there.

Proos got involved in this issue at the initiative of John Grinnell, a Southwest Michigan resident and kidney transplant recipient.

“I received the gift of life 29 years ago, which has allowed me to enjoy life with my lovely wife and our children and to meet and love our grandchildren,” Grinnell said. “While my life has been a miracle, many others in Michigan die waiting for organ donations that never come.”

For information about organ donation or to sign up to become a donor, residents may visit the Gift of Life Michigan website at GiftofLifeMichigan.org.

“Becoming an organ donor might just be the most impactful thing in someone else’s life that any of us ever do,” Proos said. “It is easy to do and could save lives.”

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.