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Donate Life Day at the Capitol to Increase Awareness for Organ Donation and Registration
Date:3/6/2009

Supporters of the Glenda Dawson Donate Life - Texas Registry will be in front of the Capitol Grill at the Texas State Capitol on March 26, between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. educating people on the donor registration process and getting them signed up on the registry.

Austin, TX (PRWEB) March 6, 2009 -- Supporters of the Glenda Dawson Donate Life - Texas Registry will be in front of the Capitol Grill at the Texas State Capitol on March 26, between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. educating people on the donor registration process and getting them signed up on the registry. Donate Life Day organizers seek to bring awareness of needed changes in the registration process for becoming a donor as well as the legislation that currently governs the registry.

There is a critical shortage of organs, tissues and eyes available for transplantation. There are more than 100,822 patients in the United States awaiting transplantation -- more than 8,000 are Texans. Every day, 18 people die waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

"Organ donation by one individual can save up to eight lives and enhance another 50 through tissue donation," said Michelle Segovia, of the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA). "A lot of people want to be donors; they just don't realize that they haven't taken all the steps required to be a donor. Each year, thousands of people die unnecessarily, simply because potential donors haven't been educated on how to become a donor. We are trying to help people to understand the current process, and are trying to gain legislation to streamline that process."

Besides donor drives similar to the Donate Life Day at the Capitol, there are currently two ways in which people can be officially registered. The first is through the Texas Department of Public Safety during the driver's license activation, renewal, and change process. Unfortunately, not everyone visiting the DPS license processing office is being asked if they want to be an organ donor or if they want to be placed on the registry. Also, because laws have changed over the last few years, some people don't realize that even though they have previously indicated their intent to be a donor on their license, they may not be on the registry.

The other way to get registered is that applicants can fill out the registration form, have the form witnessed by two people, and then mail the completed form to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The form can be found on the Donate Life Texas Web site (www.donatelifetexas.org), or by contacting TOSA (512-459-4848) to have a form mailed.

The Donate Life Day volunteers will be helping people get their names added to the registry by offering to witness their signatures and mailing the forms.

In coordination with TOSA is the Texas Transplantation Society (TTS). Laurie Reece, the Executive Director, is working with legislators to file a bill this session that will make it easier for donors to be registered.

"People who think they are donors aren't on the registry and those that want to be on the registry find it too difficult," said Laurie Reece. "Our goals for this event are to make sure that everyone that wants to be a donor is on the registry, and to educate the public and the lawmakers that there is a need to make this process easier. A change needs to be made and that change will help to save lives."    

Organizers of the Donate Life Day at the Capitol say there is a call to action for donors and potential donors. The first step is to get registered. The second step is talk to friends and family about your wishes to be an organ donor. And the third step is to talk to your legislator about making the process easier for everyone. To locate and contact your state representative, visit http://www.legis.state.tx.us/ or call (512) 463-1252.

For more information about Donate Life Texas, visit their Web site at www.donatelifetexas.org, or join their Facebook page at http://budurl.com/facebookdonatelifetx.

About Texas Organ Sharing Alliance
The Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA) is one of 58 federally designated Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO) in the United States. Founded in 1975 as a not-for-profit corporation, TOSA covers 56 counties in Central and South Texas. TOSA is committed to providing organ donation and recovery services to families wishing to donate, and to those waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
               
About Texas Transplantation Society
Texas Transplantation Society (TTS) is a non-profit professional association whose members come from all of Texas' 28 transplant centers, as well as the state's organ procurement organizations and histocompatibility labs. The mission of the society is to facilitate transplantation in Texas; to that end, TTS advocates for legislation that improves or enhances organ donation and transplantation, and educates health care professionals about best practices in organ and bone marrow transplantation,

Media Contact:
Michelle Segovia
Texas Organ Sharing Alliance
cell (512) 554.7795
   
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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/texas_organ_donation/organ_donors/prweb2211924.htm.


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