Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias highlighted the need for organ and tissue donation during National Donate Life Month announcing the launch of a new ad campaign and joining recipients and donor families to encourage more sign ups.
“We launched a public awareness campaign focusing on the critical need for organ donors and to encourage people to register, especially in communities of color where the need for some organs is the greatest but registration rates are the lowest,” Giannoulias said. “We’ve found that the more people know about organ donation, its benefits and the impact that it has on lives, the more likely they will become donors. A single donor can save or improve the lives of up to 25 people.”
Currently, more than 7.5 million Illinoisans are registered with the Illinois’ Organ and Tissue Donor Registry with more than 2,000 transplants taking place each year. Yet approximately 4,000 people remain on the transplant waiting list, and about 300 die waiting for a transplant every year.
Illinois residents Rocio Huerta, a kidney recipient from Chicago, Katie McKay Phillips, the sister of an organ donor from McHenry, Kim Gossell, a three-time kidney recipient from Palatine as well as other Illinois residents spoke of the impact of organ donation. In addition, Illinois State Rep. Nabeela Syed, an organ donor, and Matteson Mayor Sheila Chalmers-Currin shared their personal stories and stressed the importance of organ donation.
During National Donate Life Month, the Secretary of State’s office is running a statewide public service announcement (PSA) that urges people to enroll in the Secretary of State’s Organ and Tissue Donor Registry while showcasing Illinoisans who have received organs and donor families.
“Cubs fans can even save Sox fans and Card fans…It doesn’t matter who you are,” say those included in the spot. The PSA features the song, “Join Together” by The Who. Television, radio, digital display and social media ads are running in English and Spanish statewide throughout the month. The ads are also being shown in movie theaters. In addition, “Change Someone’s Story” brochures are being distributed at informational tables and training sessions statewide.
To become a donor, Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State’s Organ and Tissue Donor Registry by visiting LifeGoesOn.com, calling 800-210-2106 or signing up at the DMV.