LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Deciding to be an organ donor can be a tough decision, but it’s one that an increasing number of Michiganders are making.
The Secretary of State announced Tuesday that 60 percent of Michigan adults are now registered organ donors, a figure that has doubled since 2011.
If you’re a donor, it means that if something happens to you, your organs will go to save another person’s life.
Grand Ledge resident Sandi Shults is alive today because of the double lung transplant she received 8 years ago from a donor, and she says it’s not a gift she takes lightly.
“His name was Joshua, he was 19, I don’t know much more than that about him,” Shults said. “His family was very generous, I’ve never met them but I’ve wrote them many letters, and I could tell when they wrote back…it hurt, and I’m not gonna hurt them, I’m gonna help them if I can.”
Right now, more than 5 million people are on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, all their employees had to do to get to that number was ask, something the office hadn’t done in the past.
“She directed all staff and all 131 Secretary of State offices to start asking customers when they come in… if they want to join the registry, and that’s resulted in a huge increase in the number of people joining the registry,” Secretary of State Spokesperson Fred Woodhams said.
Every donor has the ability to save up to 8 lives by joining the registry. Those who have received the gift of life say it’s something they wouldn’t trade for the world.
“They gave me a chance to see my son get married, they gave me a chance to see a grandson born, kids going to school, it’s great,” Shults said.
At any given time there are thousands of people in Michigan waiting for a life-changing transplant. The state says becoming a donor gives many of them hope for a future.
If you want to be a donor and you aren’t already, there are a few things you can do:
– Sign up online, on the Secretary of State’s website.
– Visit a Secretary of State office and let the clerk know you want your name added to the registry.
– Renew your drivers license state ID card by mail by checking the organ donor box and your name will be placed on the registry.