A milestone for the thousands of Kentuckians waiting on lifesaving donations
During a riveting and at times emotional press conference held in Lexington this morning, Trust for Life, the charitable arm of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ announced that the Commonwealth’s Organ Donation Registry now has over two million registrants. This is a major milestone for the nonprofit and its partner organizations, which all support lifesaving mission of organ, eye and tissue donation and education.
“This is a monumental moment for the Kentucky Organ Donor registry, and one made possible through the efforts of a multitude of caring individuals and various organizations throughout the Commonwealth,” states Melissa Cardwell, Trust For Life Board President. “For the past 27 years our singular mission has been to grow and expand Kentucky’s organ, eye and tissue donation registry, most notably with the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Driver’s License Renewal Program established in 1992, a paradigm-changing initiative which no doubt led us to today’s achievement.”
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of the passage of Kentucky Senate Bill 77 that Governor Matt Bevin signed into law this past March and which expands the state’s organ and tissue donor registration for its single sign-on system starting next January 1. The first of its kind in the nation, the new system will give Kentuckians the option of registering as organ donors when they log on to the Kentucky Online Gateway website at http://bit.ly/kyonlinegateway. KOG is a repository for state services, that will greatly assist the current Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ driver’s license renewal program.
In attendance during today’s press conference was a very special guest, Mike Lutz, who is alive today thanks to a successful liver transplant in July of 2017. “Through the grace of God, I received a second chance at life through the selfless action of a stranger who donated the organ I now have within my body,” he said. “Today’s announcement should give hope to the many others who anxiously wait for the second chance at life I was so fortunate to receive.”
The mission of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life is to inform, educate, and encourage Kentuckians to register as organ and tissue donors to save the lives of the thousands of residents on the waiting list for transplants. Since the issuance of driver’s licenses in Kentucky is the responsibility of the clerks, they successfully lobbied for legislation to allow them to request that every resident renewing a driver’s license donate $1 in support of organ donation awareness; it overwhelmingly passed and has been in effect since 1992. Over the past 26 years they have collected more than $9 million from Kentucky drivers, $1 at a time. Trust For Life has used this money to purchase advertising and to support a public relations campaign, which has significantly increased organ and tissue donation in the Commonwealth. For more information visit trustforlife.org.