LANSING, Mich. — A profound way for residents to potentially make a tremendous impact in someone’s life is to sign up to become an organ donor, said Sen. John Proos.
“Although 90 percent of Americans say they support organ donation, only about 30 percent of adults nationwide have signed up as donors,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “This holiday season, I encourage Southwest Michigan families to consider giving the gift of life by becoming an organ donor. It is easy to do and it’s a gift that can be life-saving to someone in need.”
According to Donate Life America, more than 120,000 men, women and children nationwide currently need life-saving organ transplants; 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.
“Roughly half of Michigan adults are currently registered as organ donors. It is a good record of improvement since 2010, but it’s not enough,” Proos said. “That is why I am urging residents to sign up, and I will be introducing legislation to help increase the number of registered organ donors in Michigan.”
Proos’ bill would require that when individuals apply for or renew a driver’s license that they select whether they would like to be added to the Michigan anatomical gift donor registry.
It will be 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 organ recipient. Grinnell was a kidney transplant patient nearly three decades ago and supports Proos’ proposal to require everyone to make a conscious decision about being an organ donor.
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.
Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.