NATIONAL DONATE LIFE MONTH-LACROSSE, WI-MAYOR HELPS KICK OFF ORGAN DONOR WEB REGISTRY
Source: LaCrosse Tribune
La Crosse Mayor Matt Harter knew he made the right decision Tuesday. It was easy, noncontroversial and it could one day save a life.
Harter was among the first in Wisconsin to sign up as an organ donor on the state’s new Web-based registry.
At a press briefing held by Donate Life Wisconsin at the Division of Motor Vehicles office in Onalaska, Harter encouraged Wisconsin residents to “take the simple action” to sign up as organ donors at YesIWillWisconsin. com.
“It takes only a few minutes, and the incredible part is you’ll be saving lives,” Harter said.
Rebecca Hilson, a Sparta native who represented Donate Life Wisconsin, said half of Wisconsin’s residents have made their wishes known as a donor, mainly through their driver’s licenses, but that doesn’t legally authorize donation.
The online registry will make it easier and more efficient to sign up and make the authorization legal, Hilson said. Anyone older than age 15½ with a driver’s license or state ID can grant legal authorization to donate their organs, tissue and corneas upon their death.
Hilson said the registry is secure and confidential, and people can remove their name at any time. Those who already have an orange dot on their license should still register on the Web site, she said.
Hilson hopes the registry increases the number of donors because the need for organs is great, as 1,500 Wisconsin residents are on waiting lists for organs.
DeeDee Johnson of Cataract said her son, Cody, had decided to be an organ donor before he died in a 2007 car crash at the age of 20. Johnson said her son’s corneas were transplanted in two people and more than 50 others received Cody’s tissue.
“My son left a positive impact on people’s lives,” Johnson said. “I’ve heard from so many people. These donations made a big difference.”