Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello and staff members from local department of motor vehicles offices recently raised the Donate Life flag over The Mall at Greece as a ceremonial kickoff to Donate Life Month.
As a source of new signups to the state organ donor registry, DMVs throughout Monroe County are sharing information about joining the registry and urging customers to make an informed decision about organ donation.
More than 700 individuals in the Finger Lakes region currently are waiting for a donation. Each registrant has the potential to make up to eight lifesaving donations, in addition to dozens of quality-of-life donations. Roughly 40 percent of individuals in the Finger Lakes region are registered, compared to 54 percent nationwide.
Thanks to recent changes in state law, individuals can join the Donate Life registry as early as 16 years old, although parents and guardians retain final decision-making authority for individuals younger than 18.
“Sharing information about the value of joining the registry and the incredible impact it can have on the lives of those waiting for transplants is an important duty of our local DMV staff,” Bello said. “This April, we are making a commitment to sign up 4,000 new people to the Donate Life registry. The desire to register exists. We just need to harness that interest by providing opportunity.”
Registration for the state Donate Life can be submitted in person at any DMV branch or mobile unit, or online at donatelife.ny.gov.
Bello joined several DMV staff members at the ceremony, including Paula Baun, of the Greece DMV office, and her husband, David Baun, who received of two organ transplants.
“I’m very grateful for the Donate Life registry,” David Baun said. “I can now watch my children grow up. Transplants extended my life by 15 years.”
“I am extremely grateful and honored to have Paula and David stand with me to help remind residents that improving the sign-up rate on the registry is not just an abstract statistical goal — it is about changing real family’s lives throughout Rochester, Monroe County and the Finger Lakes region,” Bello said. “Stories like David’s are what motivates me and our dedicated staff to approach our Donate Life Month responsibilities so seriously.”