Wisconsin's Donor Registry List Surpasses 1 Million
Madison, Wisconsin - Wisconsin's new, online donor system has reached more than 1 million members. The important milestone was announced Oct. 13 at a news conference by first lady Tonette Walker and officials of Donate Life Wisconsin.
"This is an enormous step toward helping the 1,800 people in Wisconsin who are now on the national waiting list for a transplant," Walker said. "Since the registry was launched in March 2010, we've seen hundreds of lives saved."
Before the registry, people expressed their wish to become an organ, tissue and eye donor by having an orange dot placed on their driver's license. Now, because of the online donor registry, people who apply for or renew their license or state ID can make the decision to become legally registered donors.
"The online donor registry does more than just empower you to make your decision known," said Jill Ellefson, executive director of the UW Health Organ Procurement Organization.
"It gives your loved ones peace of mind that the decision will be honored. We have worked with many donor families who were relieved to learn that their loved one had made their own donation
decision and authorized it on the registry."
There are still 3.5 million Wisconsin citizens - including many with orange dots - who are not yet legally registered donors. Ellefson strongly encourages everyone who authorized donation at the DMV prior to the launch of the online registry in March 2010 to register online at www.YesIWillWisconsin.com.
"Since Wisconsinites renew their licenses only once every eight years, there are many people who have orange dots but are not yet registered as organ donors," Ellefson said. "The online registry makes it easy for you to make this important decision official."
Individuals older than age 15½ who holds a driver's license or state identification card are eligible to register. Everyone who authorized donation at the DMV after March 29, 2010, was automatically entered into the online donor registry.
Ellefson said it's critically important that everyone who registers online also discuss their decision with family and friends. Registering is considered legal consent for donation and cannot be changed by anyone else with the exception of persons less than 18 years of age (legal next of kin may alter donation status for minors).
Online registries have been shown to save lives because they provide 24/7 access to individuals' decisions regarding organ, tissue and eye donation. That means donation professionals have immediate access to a person's donation decision and can share that information with the donor's family and work with them to honor that choice.
Date Published: 10/27/2011