While registering a car at the Department of Motor Vehicles the other day, a friend of ours noticed a poster on the wall near the counter. It said, “Donate Life. New York State.” He jotted down the web address to look at later on.
He ended up on the New York State Donate Life Registry. Its headline got his attention, “You Can Save the Lives of an Entire Dance Troupe.”
So what is this all about?
There are close to 10,000 New Yorkers who need a life-saving organ transplant. In fact, approximately 10% of the national organ transplant waiting list is made up of New Yorkers. And each year almost 500 New Yorkers die because they don’t get an organ that can save their lives.
What about that dance troupe? It turns out that just one organ donor can save eight lives. In addition, that same donor can help seventy-five more by donating corneas and tissue.
Specifically, people’s lives are saved with donated organs, including the heart, pancreas, kidneys, liver, lungs, and intestines. Donated tissue can be used to replace bone, tendons, and ligaments. Corneas can restore sight. Skin grafts not only help burn patients heal but can save their lives. Heart valves repair heart defects and damage.
Here’s how you can help…
The New York State Donate Life Registry
The Registry is a confidential database of people who agree to donate their body parts after they die. And it’s a legal document that assures registrants that their wishes will be carried out.
Anyone age sixteen or older can join. However, in the case of a sixteen or seventeen-year-old, parents or legal guardians are notified and they have final say. At age eighteen, no parental consent is needed.
Speaking of age, no one is too old to enroll. And there are no diseases that automatically prevent you from being a donor.
You might be wondering if there’s any cost to your family or estate for the donations. The answer is that there are not. The transplant recipient pays all costs related to the donation. The family does pay for medical care and funeral arrangements.
There’s much more on the Donate Life Registry website. Your questions about the donation process, legal requirements, and subsequent funeral and religious concerns are answered. (Note: organ donation does not affect your funeral arrangements.)
The best part of all of this for us is that one donor can help save up to eight lives. That’s an amazing legacy to leave the world after a tragic accident. And signing up is confidential and easy.
By the way, if you enrolled before July 2008, the State asks you to enroll again. That’s because after July 2008 you don’t need your family’s permission for the donation to proceed. Here’s where you can find out if you’re enrolled.
So if you haven’t already, we hope you’ll consider organ donation. A difficult subject for many but one that can save lives.
Until next time,
Your SZW Team
SZW Insurance is your Utica area Trusted Choice™ independent insurance agent. Call us for a quote on insurance for your home, car, business, or life at 315.792.0000. Or request a quote here.