Organ donor reminder during Donate Life Month

April is National Donate Life Month, an observance that has also been decreed at the state level by Pennsylvania’s governor. As a result, residents are being reminded to register to be an organ donor.

“Potential donors can take action today to give a person awaiting a transplant hope by adding the organ donor designation to their license or identification card, rather than waiting for renewal time,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said in a department press release. “The short amount of time you invest online requesting the designation for your license or identification card holds the potential to save a life.”

More than 8,000 Pennsylvanians currently await organ transplants. Currently, nearly 46 percent of driver’s license and identification card holders are registered organ donors – that’s more than 4.6 million Pennsylvanians, the release said.

"More organ donors means more seriously ill individuals awaiting transplant can have the opportunity to live a full, productive life,” Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy said in the release. “There is a transformative power in organ donation; just one donor may save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of more than 50 people.”

Customers can easily add the organ donor designation to an existing driver’s license or identification card by visiting www.dmv.pa.gov and selecting the “Donate Life Pennsylvania” icon in the middle of the home page. Once the designation is added, individuals will receive a designation card that they will have to carry with them to affirm organ donor status until they renew or replace their driver’s license or identification card. There is no charge for adding the designation.

Driver’s license and identification card holders, as well as registered vehicle owners, can also support organ donation programs by donating $1 to the Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund at the time of application or renewal. Proceeds from the fund are used to educate and promote awareness of the organ donor program through nonprofits like the Center for Organ Recovery and Education and the Gift of Life Donor Program. Pennsylvanians have generously donated nearly $13 million to the fund over the past 20 years.

As part of ongoing efforts to increase awareness of organ and tissue donation, video monitors featuring educational content are installed at 20 PennDOT photo license centers. More information on organ and tissue donation in Pennsylvania can be found at www.donatelife-pa.org.

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