Assemblyman Robert Oaks (R-Macedon) is urging his constituents to enroll in the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry as a way to give other people a chance to resume full, productive lives.
According to Oaks, there is a severe shortage of organs and tissues for transplantation. In addition to about 7,000 New Yorkers awaiting organ transplants, more than 20,000 other people await tissue donations for lifesaving transplants, as in the case of burn and cancer patients.
"I urge all New Yorkers to become organ donors," Oaks said. "Saving a life is the best gift one person can give to another."
Oaks noted that each person who donates his or her organs (hearts, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines) can save up to eight lives, while a tissue donor (corneas, bone, skin, heart valves, tendons, veins, etc.) can improve 12 or more lives by restoring eyesight, helping fight infections in burn patients and preventing the loss of arms or legs.
To become an organ donor, simply check the donor box on your driver license or nondriver identification card application or renewal form, noted Oaks.
More information about becoming an organ donor and enrolling in the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry is available by visiting the state Health Departmentís Web site at www.health.state.ny.us.