Increase in Minn. Organ Donors, But More Organs Needed

Updated: 04/14/2014 7:39 PM
Created: 04/14/2014 8:28 AM
By: Megan Stewart

In the past five months, nearly 25,000 Minnesotans have added the word "donor" to their driver's license or ID cards, state officials said.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the influx of donors is due to a statewide campaign that was launched last October.

The push increased the total number of donors to 2.62 million Minnesotans, said DPS spokesnan Douglas Neville. About two-thirds of state residents are registered, compared to 50 percent of people nationally.

However, there are also more Minnesotans waiting for a life-saving organ transplant than the national average. Neville said more than 3,100 people statewide need vital organs.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie spoke about organ donation Monday as part of National Donate Life Month in April.

The campaign is meant to raise awareness by featuring local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives by being a donor.

More than a decade ago, Ritchie’s 20-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver, and many of her organs were donated.

He's speaking to employees at Regions Hospital. According to a statement from the hospital, 12 organ donors from Regions Hospital donated 39 organs in 2013, saving 39 lives.

Learn more about National Donate Life Month here.

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