Today, more than 3,700 patients listed at Florida transplant centers await life-saving organ transplants. Many of these individuals may get a second chance at life due to the generosity of those who designate themselves as organ, tissue and eye donors on Florida’s organ and tissue donor Registry. One donor can save eight lives and enhance dozens more through tissue and eye donation.
Donate Life America set a national goal to achieve a 50 percent donor designation rate, the rate at which individuals join their state donor registry as a percentage of all driver licenses and ID cards issued within a specific period of time. Over the past year driver license and ID cards joining the donor registry per month in Manatee County have ranged from 42 to 48%, but never made the 50% national goal.
“I think this is a doable thing,” said Tax Collector Ken Burton, Jr. “With a little bit of encouragement we can easily surpass the 50% and make the Top 10 in Florida.” St. Johns County had the highest rate in Florida at 63.16% and Highlands County rounded out the top ten at 52.13%.
The Joshua Abbott Organ and Tissue Donor Registry allows an easy, user-friendly means of joining the state’s Registry. Floridians can join the Registry through the Donate Florida website www.donatelifeflorida.org
, or when renewing their driver license online at www.taxcollector.com
, or when obtaining/renewing driver licenses at a Tax Collector’s office. You can also join the Registry by calling Donate Life Florida directly at 1-877-35-SHARE (1-877-357-4273) and requesting a registry form. If you already have “organ donor” on your driver license, you still are encouraged to join the new registry to ensure your previous designation is documented.
Donate Life Florida is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization contracted by the State of Florida, Agency for Health Care Administration to create the state’s organ, tissue and eye donor registry.