“Thanks to our partnership with Southampton Hospital and the New York Organ Donor Network, we were able to increase organ donor registration on the East End by 102 percent from 2009 to 2012,” said Frank Dalene of the East Hampton Lions Club.
2014 marks the eighth consecutive year that the Hamptons Hospital, New York Organ Donor Network (NYODN), and East Hampton Lions Club have joined forces during Donate Life Month to boost awareness of the need for additional organ donors in New York State.
To help spread the word, Southampton Hospital hosted a special presentation for medical staff, residents, and students, with personal stories from family members of organ donors and an organ transplant recipient.
For Dalene the effort to improve organ donor registration is a personal matter. He and his wife had lost their son tragically and found comfort in the news that his tissue donation gave two people the gift of sight.
According to NYODN, only 22 percent of New Yorkers are registered as organ donors, which is significantly lower than the national rate at 47 percent. One organ donor can save up to eight lives while one tissue donation can improve the lives of up to 50 people. New York is second-to-last in the nation for its percentage of registered organ donors and someone dies every 15 hours waiting for an organ transplant.
Anyone over 18 years of age can register as an organ donor at www.donatelifeny.org, by calling 1-866-693-6667, or by visiting their local DMV.