"We often think of a hero as someone who wears capes, plays sports or rescues others from burning buildings," White said. "But we can all be heroes by joining the Secretary of State's Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. It takes very little time and one donor can save or greatly improve up to 25 lives. The men and women who sign up for this lifesaving program are heroes too."
Currently, there are more than 5.5 million people registered to become organ/tissue donors in Illinois. However, more than 5,000 are on the waiting list and about 300 people die each year waiting for an organ transplant.
April is National Donate Life Month. White will attend events throughout Illinois to encourage donation. Organizations will be working together to promote donor awareness throughout the state.
White is teaming up with community colleges statewide for the "Be a Hero" public awareness campaign, offering students the opportunity to create their own campaigns and earn community service hours while promoting the Organ/Tissue Donor Registry. The students with the top campaigns will receive internships with Donate Life Illinois partners.
In addition, libraries are distributing organ/tissue donor materials and hosting donor drives. Health fairs, schools, universities and hospitals will also be hosting donor drives and featuring displays statewide. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Building and the Wrigley Building in Chicago will light their buildings with blue and green lights during National Donate Life Blue & Green Day in support of organ/tissue donation.
Television and radio ads will air in English and Spanish statewide throughout the month. The ad will also be played on approximately 430 movie screens across the state.
Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State Organ/Tissue Donor Program at LifeGoesOn.com, 1-800-210-2106 or by visiting their local Driver Services facility.
Donate Life Illinois partners include the American Liver Foundation-Illinois, Biological Resource Center of Illinois; Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network; Saving Sight ; Illinois Eye-Bank; Illinois Secretary of State Organ/Tissue Donor Program; LifeSource; Mid-America Transplant Services; Rock River Valley Blood Center; and National Kidney Foundation of Illinois.