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Lake Geneva Chiropractic

Organ donation: The gift of life

May 26, 2010 | 07:53 AM
Each day, about 77 people in the United States receive organ transplants. During the same time frame, 18 people die waiting for transplants that cannot take place because of the shortage of donated organs. Despite continuing advances in medicine and technology, the demand for organs is vastly greater than the number of donors. That is why I urge you to consider becoming a potential organ donor, as April is "Donate Life" Month.

As a registered organ donor myself, signing up is easy to do, and soon, it will be even easier. Beginning April 1, the State of Wisconsin is making an on-line organ donor registry available. Those interested can sign up at: www.YesIWillWisconsin.com. This is the first step to moving away from registering donors intentions with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to an easy to use on-line registry.

The online registry is absolutely secure, conforms to federal health care privacy laws, and can only be accessed by health care security codes. It will be easy to update, allowing registrants to add or remove themselves at any time and will eventually replace the orange sticker on driver's licenses. Registration does not override the surviving family's wishes, but may help some families make the tough decision if necessary.

Even though many people have provided organs through donation, the need for organ, tissue, blood and bone marrow donors remains high. More than 105,000 people are listed on the national waiting list for organ transplants, and the list grows by 100 new names each day. In Wisconsin, over 1,600 people are included on the organ or tissue transplant waiting list.

One donor has the potential to save or improve the lives of more than 50 people. Donated corneas restore vision for the blind; donated bone and connective tissue help repair defects, promote faster healing and save limbs; donated skin saves lives of those with severe burns and repairs functional and cosmetic problems for many others.

There is no cost to the family for donation and anyone can elect to be an organ donor, regardless of age of pre-existing condition. Medical professionals will evaluate potential donors and determine suitability for donation of particular organs or tissue when the time for donation arises. Organs are matched by several factors including: blood and tissue typing, organ size, medical urgency and geographic locations. Currently, more than 2.3 million people are registered as potential donors in Wisconsin.

For more information about donation and becoming a donor, please visit the National Coalition on Donation's Web site at www.shareyourlife.org. Information on upcoming organ donation events and additional information regarding the registry can be found at: www.YesIWillWisconsin.com. Of course, you may contact my office anytime for more information.

Kedzie can be reached in Madison at P.O. Box 7882, Madison, WI, 53707-7882, or by calling toll-free 1 (800) 578-1457. He may be reached in the district at (262) 742-2025 or on-line at www.senatorkedzie.com.

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Walworth County