By Bill Parry
In his continuing efforts to increase the number of eligible persons who are registered as organ donors, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) is joining LiveOnNY to encourage Queens residents to give the Gift of Life in the first-ever Organ Donor Enrollment Day Tuesday, Oct. 6.
Team Senator Peralta is one of nearly 100 teams of hospitals, transplant centers, individual donor families and organ transplant recipients and businesses throughout the city that will band together with one common goal—to enroll as many residents as possible as registered organ donors.
“Our staff is very excited about participating in an event that will save the lives of countless New Yorkers,” Peralta said. “We will do our best to sign up as many New Yorkers as possible for the Donate Life Registry, as our city and state are in dire need of organ donors. Organ donation is the ultimate gift a person can make.”
New York ranks last out of the 50 states, in the percentage of residents registered as organ donors. With just 24 percent of New Yorkers enrolled on the registry, the state is well below the national average of 50 percent.
Notably, the percentage of registered residents in Queens is even lower than the state average, at just over 11 percent of eligible residents. This contributes to a troubling fact: every 18 hours, a New Yorker dies waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.
“Over 90 percent of New Yorkers support organ donation, but just 24 percent are registered, so we created Organ Donor Enrollment Day to inspire New Yorkers to sign up and save lives,” Helen Irving, president and chief executive officer of LiveOnNY, said. “We will join forces with many in our community to hit the streets, and get supportive New Yorkers to take the important step to sign up as organ donors.”
LiveOnNY is a nonprofit federally designated procurement organization that has helped save 20,000 lives through organ donation, working closely with 10 donation centers and more than 90 hospitals to facilitate donation . It has improved the lives of nearly a half million more through tissue donation over the past 37 years.
Team Senator Peralta will hit the streets of Jackson Heights in the area of 82nd Street and Roosevelt Avenue to raise awareness and enroll Queens residents in the Donate Life Registry. They will also set up an information table by the Post Office at 78-02 37th Ave.
One organ donor can save up to eight lives. The same donor can also save or improve the lives of up to 50 people by donating tissues and eyes.
For more information, or to learn how to be a part of the effort, go to www.enrol
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr