Being an organ or tissue donor is a selfless act that can help save a life. On Wednesday, Illinois reached a new milestone that can help save many more.
Secretary of State Jesse White announced that the state's organ and tissue donor registry has reached seven million registrants.
"I am so proud that Illinoisans continue to show their giving spirit and commitment to others by signing up for this lifesaving program," said White, who heads the state's Organ/Tissue Donor Registry. "Our mission is to strengthen the Organ/Tissue Donor Program through outreach and registration initiatives.
Each year nearly 300 people die waiting for a transplant in Illinois, according to White.
"We want to end the waiting for the approximately 4,000 people statewide. Each year about 300 people die waiting for a transplant in Illinois," he said. "It takes less than a minute to register, and one person can improve the quality of life for up to 25 people."
White says of the more than 12.6 million people living in Illinois, there are more than 10.7 million individuals who qualify to become a donor. Of those, 65% have registered, including more than 100,000 16- and 17-year-olds who were allowed to register thanks to a law White initiated in 2018.
White said he has a personal connection to organ donations because his sister received a kidney transplant from an anonymous donor that extended her life for 27 years.
To register as an Illinois organ/tissue donor, visit LifeGoesOn or call 800-210-2106.
The video featured is from a previous report.