Proos applauds organ donor registry milestone

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LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos on Wednesday applauded the recent announcement by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson that two-thirds of Michigan adults are now registered as organ donors.

“There is a tremendous need for lifesaving organ transplants nationwide and here in Michigan, where over 3,100 residents are currently waiting for a transplant,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Especially during the holidays, it is wonderful to hear that two-thirds of all eligible Michigan residents have signed up to give the gift of life as organ donors.”

In January 2011, only 27 percent of eligible Michigan residents were registered organ donors.

Proos sponsored Public Act 451 of 2016, known as “Lauren’s Law,” to require the secretary of state’s office to ask whether someone wishes to be added to the organ donor registry when they apply for a driver’s license. The act is named after Lauren Shields, who at age 9 was placed on life support while waiting for a heart transplant and helped pass a similar law in New York.

“The goal of Lauren’s Law was to help dramatically increase the number of registered organ donors in our state, and we are seeing its positive results,” Proos said. “I want to thank Secretary of State Johnson for her leadership and her dedication to helping save and improve lives through organ donation.

“While we have come a long way, I want to remind Southwest Michigan residents that there remains a critical need for donors.”

According to Donate Life America, more than 115,000 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 22 people die each day waiting for an available organ.

Anyone can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, regardless of age or medical history.

Residents can sign up at www.michigan.gov/organdonation, by calling 866-500-5801 or by visiting any secretary of state office.

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.