Organ donation drive
Organ donation drive
Marshfield - MyFox Wausau - Nearly 1,600 people in Wisconsin are currently waiting for organ donations. Now, potential donors can sign up right online. The program "Yes I Can Wisconsin" kicked off last month. Leaders say offering online registration, instead of just when receiving a driver's license will increase the number of donors. That's why they're spreading the word.
Jack Walden received a life-saving heart transplant back in 1991. After spending a year and a half on the transplant list, he says one family's choice gave him a second chance at life.
"Without them," he said. "I wouldn't have had these 19 years. I wouldn't have seen my 2 daughters get married, and I wouldn't have seen my first grandchild."
Right now, more than 106,000 people nationwide are waiting for organs. That's why state leaders are making it easier to sign up. The "Yes I Will Wisconsin" program kicked off last month. Now all the donor has to do is enter their name and driver's license number into the database.
"So that when family is informed that their loved one can be a donor," explained Tracie Cook with the UW Organ Procurement Organization. "It can be looked up right away to see what their decision is. If they're signed up, we'll know that."
Donation drives like this week's event at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield are helping the cause.
"I think it's really important, knowing that if something were to happen, that my organs could be used to help somebody else," said Claire Meley, who recently registered to donate her organs.
You can also register from a computer at home or work. So far, more than 10,000 potential donors have signed up. But there's still a long way to go to give more people, like Jack Walden, a new lease on life.
"With the number of people signing the donor cards," he said. "hopefully that number is going to increase so that there's more hearts available and they won't be wasting them. People will become more aware of the need for them."
The donation drive at Saint Joseph's is going on all week from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the cafeteria. If you can't make that, click here to register.