Last Wednesday (March 26, 2014) examiners at the Boone Driver’s License Office were honored by the nonprofit organization Donate Life North Carolina for achieving both the highest organ and eye donor designation rate (72.3 percent) for its district and for all of North Carolina in 2013. The state average donor sign-up rate for 2013 was 51.9 percent.
The annual Donate Life NC’s awards program recognizes driver license offices in the 14 districts for having the highest or the most improved donor designation rates. This is the fourth year the Boone office has received top awards for its district and the entire state. The group wants to demonstrate its appreciation for the examiners, whose job has a direct impact on the more than 121,000 people across the country waiting for a much needed organ. Here in North Carolina, more than 3,300 people await their lifesaving transplant.
Why is this such an important issue? The transplant waiting list continues to grow while the number of donors has not increased to meet the need. Every 10 minutes, another name is added to the national transplant waiting list, and sadly, an average of 18 people die each day waiting for a lifesaving transplant. However, one person can save up to eight lives through organ donation and restore sight in two individuals through cornea donation.
Donate Life NC works to inspire North Carolinians to register as organ, tissue and eye donors. Residents have the opportunity to join the donor registry at the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) when receiving or renewing a driver’s license or ID card. Those individuals who say “yes” to donation receive a small red heart on their license or ID card. People can also register online at DonateLifeNC.org/register at any time. Last year, almost 300 North Carolinians gave the gift of life through organ donation.
“Our partnership with the DMV is our top priority,” said Sharon Hirsch, Executive Director of Donate Life NC. “While asking customers if they would like to register as a donor is just one of several questions in each transaction, examiners never know what the one ‘Yes!’ might mean for someone else. In fact, most people on the waiting list never imagined they would need a lifesaving transplant and hope that someone will step up and be their hero.” For more information on registering as a donor, visit DonateLifeNC.org/register.
Donate Life NC is a collaborative group of organizations that promote organ, eye and tissue donation including Carolina Donor Services, LifeShare Of The Carolinas, the NC Eye Bank and the transplant centers at Carolinas Medical Center, UNC Hospital, Duke University Medical Center and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Working together, the member organizations are directly involved in supporting donor families and facilitating organ, eye and tissue transplants across the state. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, our work includes school education, DMV and donor registry supervision. Join Donate Life NC on Twitter at @DonateLifeNC or on Facebook at facebook.com/DonateLifeNC.