SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -Michigan's organ donor numbers took a dramatic leap in November, with a 56 percent increase since November 2010.
Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said last month, 37,388 people signed up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, up from the 23,979 who did so in the same month last year. So far this year, there have been more than 362,000 registrations - already well past 2010's record total of 319,000.
"For the thousands of patients on transplant waiting lists in Michigan, increasing the number of registered donors means improving the odds they will receive the lifesaving operation they need and have more time with their families," Johnson said. "This holiday season, I encourage all residents to give the gift of life."
Johnson and her staff have worked closely with Gift of Life Michigan, the Michigan Eye-Bank and other advocates to raise awareness of the need for organ, tissue and cornea donation, and to let people know how easy and meaningful it is to register as a donor.
The state's national ranking among other states for organ donor registrations was 44th at the end of 2010. Michigan began 2011 with fewer than 27 percent of adults on the donor registry, but is now up to nearly 32 percent and continues to narrow the gap as it approaches the national average of 42 percent.
"These continuous increases demonstrate the generosity of the citizens of Michigan and the commitment of the Secretary of State and donation partners to save and improve lives," said Richard Pietroski, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan, the state's organ and tissue recovery organization. "Together, we are making a difference."
Tim Davidson of Highland celebrated the third anniversary of his liver transplant last month and welcomed the latest good news for those awaiting transplants.
Read more: http://www.wnem.com/story/16173584/mi