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Advocates push for more organ donors in NY; state ranks 50th in nation

Emily De Vito
Updated: November 07, 2019 06:45 PM
Created: November 07, 2019 04:49 PM

On average, 20 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant. While New York State has the third highest need for donors, it has the lowest number of people registered to be a donor out of the 50 states in the country.

It's an issue near and dear to the heart of NewsChannel 13's Emily De Vito. Six members of her family, including her mother and her sister, are alive today thanks to the gift of life. So she is sharing information and her personal story in hopes that others may be motivated to become part of the solution.

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Who is impacted by NY's lack of donors?

New York State recently hit a milestone. Six million people have enrolled in the state's Donate Life registry as organ donors. It's a big milestone because the state ranks last in the nation in percent of residents registered as organ donors.

One family's story: 6 members receive transplants

My immediate and extended family has had so many friends, other family members, and even strangers step up to help us. Members of my family suffer from polycystic kidney disease -- and because of that, kidney transplants have been become the norm for us for the past 20 years.

Getting more people to register as donors

The good news is the number of New Yorkers registering to be organ donors is going up. However, some say the state has been busy playing catch up with the rest of the nation instead of being more bold in how they tackle this public health problem.

Organ Donation Facts

Source: Center for Donation & Transplant

  • One organ donor can save up to eight lives and enhance the lives of up to 75 people through tissue donation.
  • Over 90% of New Yorkers support organ donation, but only 35% are registered donors; the national average is 56%.

Debunking the Myths

  • There is NO age limit to donation. We have previously had a 93-year-old donor right here in New York.
  • DO NOT rule yourself out because of health conditions. Each case is considered for medical suitability for donation after death has been declared.
  • It is NOT against your religion. Most major religions actively support organ donation including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Taoism, and more.

New York State Facts

  • New York has the lowest amount of eligible people registered in the US however NY has the third highest need in the US.
  • Every 18 hours a New Yorker dies because they didn't get their life saving organ in time.
  • Over 9,500 New Yorkers are waiting for their life saving transplant and over 80% of them need a Kidney.


Copyright 2019 - WNYT-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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