FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 11, 2016
Contact: Kristen Muszynski
Secretary Dunlap to take part in organ donation celebration to mark Donate Life Month
AUGUSTA ? Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will join the families of organ donors and transplant recipients at the Maine State House on Wednesday to celebrate the life-saving opportunities of organ and tissue donation.
The Donate Life gathering, to take place in the Hall of Flags on Wednesday, April 13 at 1 p.m., commemorates those who have received or continue to wait for lifesaving transplants, as well as the families of individuals who chose to be donors.
Secretary Dunlap will speak about the role of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which provides Mainers the opportunity to sign up as organ donors through their driver?s license. The BMV plays an important role in the donation process, as the vast majority of individuals in Maine (99 percent) who register as an organ and tissue donor do so while conducting business through the bureau, in person or online.
Additional featured speakers on Wednesday include Mary Pappas, whose son, Troy, was an organ donor; and Kenneth Albert, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Members of the Maine Advisory Council on Organ and Tissue Donation and of the New England Organ Bank will be taking part, as will state legislators. Student artists who participated in the Organ Donation High School Posters Contest will also be recognized at the event.
April is Donate Life Month and the celebration seeks to inform the public of the benefits of organ donation, and to encourage registration as an organ donor. In 2015, 719 lives were saved in New England because of the generosity of individuals who became organ donors. Thousands more lives were enhanced through the gift of tissue donation. Still, there are more than 121,000 patients now on the transplant wait list nationwide.
For more information on organ donation, and to register as a donor, visit http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/donatelife/index.html or www.DonateLifeNewEngland.org.