April Fools Move Aside: It’s National Donate Life Month

April begins with pranks and fun-filled shenanigans, but the month is much more serious than a few jokes. In addition to the anticipated showers, Holocaust Memorial Day, Earth Day and Administrative Professionals’ Day, April is also National Donate Life Month. This more somber designation was created to raise awareness of organ donation and to recognize those who have given the gift of life.

The New York Organ Donor Network (NYODN) has launched an intense campaign to make sure residents of this great state step up to the plate and register to be organ donors. The NYODN was formed in 1978 as a nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organization (OPO) for the greater New York Metropolitan area. Visit donatelifeny.org.

Typically, 95 percent of organ donor enrollment occurs upon getting or renewing a license at the Department of Motor Vehicles, but according to the data, only about 21 percent of eligible New Yorkers are enrolled in the state’s Donate Life Registry. This simply must be changed. Just one organ donor alone can save up to eight lives!

The urgency of this campaign is critical—who hasn’t experienced the unexpected and unfortunate loss of a loved one? It is especially painful to endure the loss of life when vital organs needed for transplant are available, but can’t be used because of a person’s failure to enroll. More could be done to change this problem.

Don’t delay any longer. According to NYODN, more than 10,000 New Yorkers wait for life-saving organ transplants. Helen Irving, CEO and President of NYODN, says, “The time is now to register and save lives.”

This awareness campaign is partnering with the government agencies, public libraries and private businesses to increase the opportunities for New Yorkers to enroll, including the New York State Department of Health and 26 Departments of Motor Vehicles. Further, Zaro’s Bakery, the Brooklyn Nets and several metropolitan hospitals have undertaken their own initiatives.

It’s time for the Hamptons and the North Fork to get involved. Take the initiative and register as an organ donor today!

To sign up for the New York State Donate Life Registry, learn more about NYODN and help save lives, visit savelivesnewyork.org or organdonor.gov today.

Organ Donor Shirt

Photo: Mika Marttila

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