Assemblywoman Galef is Urging New Yorkers to Sign up as Organ Donors This Valentine’s Day

Share the love this Valentine’s Day by registering to be an organ donor

Cortlandt, NY – Assemblywoman Sandy Galef gathered with local municipal and county leaders, and organ donation advocates at New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital this Valentine’s Day to encourage constituents, neighbors, and friends to consider registering to be an organ donor.

Also joining the Assemblywoman was New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital President Stacey Petrower; Senior Public Relations Specialist from LiveOnNY Ali McSherry; kidney recipient Carolyn Robinson; County Legislators Catherine Borgia and Colin Smith; Ossining Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg; and Ossining Village Mayor Victoria Gearity.

New York ranks last in the nation for percentage of the eligible population who is enrolled as an organ donor. Only 39% of eligible residents in New York are registered as donors, while nearly 10,000 New Yorkers are in need of an organ transplant. And while polling suggests that a strong majority of people support organ donation, there is still a disconnect between that support and enrollee numbers. Organ donation advocates hope to cut through the stigma by encouraging those on the fence to talk through any reservations they may have with their doctors, family members, and friends.

Transplant recipient Carolyn Robinson elaborated on how an organ donation saved her life when facing kidney failure in 2001. After hearing about the backlogged waitlist for a transplant, Carolyn’s sister offered her own kidney to save her sister from having to undergo dialysis treatment. Supporters of organ donation who gathered today hope that her story will inspire more people to sign up so that everyone currently waiting for a lifesaving organ donation gets the care they need.

Assemblywoman Galef said, “I registered to be an organ donor years ago, and I am comforted knowing that I can give the gift of life to another person or persons. I have always known New Yorkers to be generous and caring people, and I encourage my constituents to consider joining me as a registered organ donor today.”

Galef has also worked on statewide legislation making the organ donation registration process easier. New York State law changed in 2017 to allow a 16-year-old to register as an organ donor when they fill out paperwork to receive a driver’s license, rather than not having that option until they renew their license many years later.

Ali McSherry from LiveOnNY said, “Organ donation saves lives. There are approximately 10,000 New Yorkers currently waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant, and they need our help. LiveOnNY is proud to work with Assemblywoman Galef to raise awareness about this important cause and to encourage all New Yorkers to register as organ donors.”

“Becoming a registered organ donor is an impactful act of service that can be life changing for many in our community,” said Stacey Petrower, president, New York-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital “And with new, minimally invasive procedures, potential donors now also have the option to give the gift of life through living donation as well.”

Ossining Town Supervisor Dana Levenberg said, “Thanks so much to Assemblywoman Sandy Galef for encouraging everyone to spread the love and think about hearts on this Valentine’s Day. By signing up to become an organ donor, we can all pay the love forward and make sure none of our friends or loved ones would ever have to be stuck on a list to have to wait for something as critical as a life-saving heart. I hope anyone who has ever been on the fence about enrolling really does so today, out of the goodness of their own hearts.”

Westchester County Legislator Catherine Borgia said, “What better way is there – on Valentine’s Day – to show love for our family members, friends, neighbors, and fellow New Yorkers than to pay it forward? Becoming an organ donor is a simple way to enable our fellow travelers on life’s journey to live their best lives in the event that tragedy cuts ours short. It’s easy, confidential, and impactful to check the box, and I urge every New Yorker to do so.”

Westchester County Legislator Colin Smith said, “I fully support Assemblywoman Sandy Galef and LiveOnNY’s effort to increase organ donation registration. Organ donation is such an important issue, and unfortunately New York has some catching up to do. Hopefully today will serve as a springboard to increase the number of registered donors in New York State.”