In the United States, more than 118,000 people are awaiting a life-saving organ transplant, with 2,500 of those residing in Tennessee, according to Donate Life Tennessee.
Every 18 minutes a patient on the waiting list for a donor organ dies, and every 10 minutes a new name is added to the list.
When a driver in Tennessee renews his or her car registration, the opportunity is provided to make a donation to the “Donate-A-Dollar Program,” which benefits the Tennessee County Clerks Organ Donor Awareness Foundation. The foundation recently announced that it has raised $4 million in donations since its inception in 1996.
DeKalb County Clerk Mike Clayborn has been recognized by Donate Life Tennessee for his work to promote the “Donate-A-Dollar program.
“Thanks to the dedication of our state’s county clerks, we have been able to raise money to provide our citizens with education on the importance of organ and tissue donation,” said Janice Butler, president of the Tennessee Association of County Clerks.
The Tennessee County Clerks Association launched the foundation in 1996 to support organ donation education in Tennessee. The foundation works in cooperation with the non-profit Tennessee Donor Services and Mid-South Transplant Foundation to educate Tennesseans on the importance of becoming an organ and tissue donor.
A board comprised of physicians, donor service professionals and county clerk representatives administer the funds, which over the years have been critical to the development of the Donate Life Tennessee online registry, the creation and distribution of educational materials, school based programs and recognition programs for organ and tissue donors.
As of June 2013, over 1.85 million Tennesseans have signed up on the Donate Life Tennessee Organ & Tissue Donor Registry either online or through the Department of Safety. On average, nearly 3,500 people are added each week. While the rate falls far short of the nationwide goal to register 50 percent of each state’s licensed drivers, Tennessee’s registry is growing quickly. Tennesseans can register to be an organ donor by simply Checking YES when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or by going online at www.donatelifetn.org.
Donate Life Tennessee is a non-profit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by the state’s two organ procurement organizations (OPO), responsible for facilitating the donation process in Tennessee:
Tennessee Donor Services and Mid-South Transplant Foundation. The Donate Life Registry assures that all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized OPO personnel.
(Pictured Above: Leslie Tramel, Mike Clayborn, Tammy Pack, and Judy Miller McGee)