When it comes to the percentage of registered organ donors, the state of Texas is near the bottom of the list. One reason that number is so low is because many who think they're registered aren't in the system.
Sandy Norwood doesn't take anything for granted. An illness left her lungs scarred and as the disease progressed, she nearly lost the ability to breathe.
"It got to the point that I needed so much oxygen I could no longer leave the house and I could barely walk across the room," she said.Her doctors told her that she would need new lungs.
"It was kind of frightening, because I did realize that there was a strong possibility I would never get my opportunity to have my second chance at life," Norwood said.
In Donate Life's national donor designation report card, Texas ranks last in percent of registered donors. The Texas Organ Sharing Alliance's Michelle Segovia said one of the reasons the number is so low is Texas' program is relatively new.
"This registry is only three years old and it's all about getting the word out to fellow Texans and let them know that there is a new registry in place where you can designate your wishes," she said.
One of the easiest ways to register your wishes is when you renew your driver’s license. Previous programs didn't keep a database of people who registered. So many people, who think they're registered, aren't in the system.
Even with the low percentage on the list, Central Texas still ranks high for families giving consent for organ donation.
"It is so much easier on family members if they have that conversation with their loved ones, or if their loved one has registered their intention to donate," Segovia said.
It's been almost a year since Norwood received her new lungs; something she said was possible because her donor made her wishes known.
"On my birthday last year I truly could not walk across the room. On my birthday this past year I walked 3 miles," she said.
It was a walk made possible because someone registered.