Secretary of State Jesse White announced that the state’s organ and tissue donor registry reached 6 million registrants Tuesday.
“I’m thrilled to see that Illinoisans continue to show their giving spirit by signing up for this lifesaving program,” White said. “Our mission is to sign up everyone who is eligible in order to give others a second chance at life and end the waiting for the approximately 5,000 people statewide.”
More than 12.8 million people live in Illinois, according to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2015. Seventy-seven percent of those people are older than 18, making them eligible to become organ and tissue donors. Every year about 300 people die waiting for a transplant in Illinois.
The registry hit the 6 million mark following April, which is National Donate Life Month, a public awareness effort for organ and tissue donation. Last month, White attended events at driver services facilities, hospitals, churches and other venues to encourage donation. Organizations worked together to promote donor awareness.
“Our efforts last month had an impact on the increase in registration,” White said. “I think our public awareness campaign, whether it was visiting our facilities, television commercials or attending events in the community, motivated people to register. It takes less than a minute to register and one person can improve the quality of life for up to 25 people.”
Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State Organ/Tissue Donor Program at LifeGoesOn.com, (800) 210-2106 or by visiting a local driver services facility.