During a riveting and at times emotional press conference held in Lexington on May 13th, Trust For Life, the charitable arm of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks, announced that the Commonwealth’s Organ Donation Registry now has over two million registrants. This is a major milestone for the nonprofit and its partner organizations, all of which support the lifesaving mission of organ, eye and tissue donation and education.
“This is a monumental moment for Kentucky, and one made possible through the efforts of the caring individuals in our office and generous supporters throughout the Commonwealth,” states Mike Mays, Owsley Co. Circuit Court Clerk. “Every person who says ‘yes’ at our office and registers as a donor offers immeasurable hope to patients on the transplant waiting list. Today, 1000 Kentucky children and adults are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. Nationally, 114,000 patients wait. Tragically, each day, 22 people die waiting. It is our goal, as Circuit Clerks, to help end this wait and save and heal those in need.”
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the passage of Kentucky Senate Bill 77 that Governor Matt Bevin signed into law this past March and which expands the state’s organ and tissue donor registration for its single sign-on system starting next January 1. The first of its kind in the nation, the new system will give Kentuckians the option of registering as organ donors when they log on to the Kentucky Online Gateway website at http://bit.ly/kyonlinegateway. KOG is a repository for state services, that will greatly be assisting the current Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ driver’s license program.
In attendance during today’s press conference was a very special guest, Mike Lutz, who is alive today thanks to a successful liver transplant in July of 2017. “I am so thankful to have received a second chance at life through the selfless action of a stranger who donated the organ I now have within my body,” he said. “Today’s announcement should give hope to the many others who anxiously wait for the second chance at life I was so fortunate to receive. Let’s get to 3 million!”
Everyone can register as a donor by saying “yes” at your Circuit Court Clerk’s office or going online to www.donatelifeky.org. There are no age limits or health requirements, everyone can register as a donor.
The mission of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life is to inform, educate, and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors to save the lives of the thousands of residents on the waiting list for transplants. Since the issuance of driver’s licenses in Kentucky is the responsibility of the Circuit Clerks, they successfully lobbied for legislation to allow them to request that every resident renewing a driver’s license donate $1 in support of organ donation awareness; it overwhelmingly passed and has been in effect since 1992. Over the past 27 years they have raised more than $9 million from Kentuckians, $1 contribution at a time. Trust For Life has used this money to educate the public through school and church programs, purchasing advertising and public relations campaign, which has significantly increased organ and tissue donation in the Commonwealth. The Circuit Clerks have registered more than 2 million Kentuckians as donors. For more information visit trustforlife.org.