Secretary of State Ruth Johnson: Organ donor registry tops 4 million

DETROIT ‒ Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today celebrated that the Michigan Organ Donor Registry now stands at more than 4 million people willing to be organ, tissue and eye donors, bringing the statewide total of donor registrants to 52 percent of adults.

“This is wonderful news for Michigan because organ, tissue and eye donation saves and improves lives,” Johnson said. “Add your name to the donor registry and become a hero. Every name on the list means hope for the 3,500 people in Michigan waiting for a life-saving or life-enhancing transplant.”

She broke the news to a thousand walkers and runners on Detroit’s Belle Isle at the 18th annual LIFE Walk, sponsored by Gift of Life Michigan’s Minority Organ, Tissue Transplant Education Program. The program is dedicated to reducing the need for organ and tissue transplants among ethnic and minority populations, who make up nearly 50 percent of patients waiting for a transplant.

In 2011 when Johnson first took office, only about 27 percent of the state’s adults were on the donor registry, ranking Michigan near the bottom nationally. Johnson made expanding the organ donor rolls a priority but insisted that it be done at little to no cost to taxpayers. She directed her staff to start asking customers if they wanted to sign up, created a task force of leading experts and began promoting organ donor registration at Secretary of State offices. About 85 percent of people who sign up do so through the Secretary of State’s office. Continue reading