November 17, 2017

Donate Life New York State Celebrates Launch of Organ and Tissue Donor Registry at Facebook NYC Headquarters

Families Who Have Been Touched by Donation, Elected Officials, and Member Organizations Gather to Celebrate Modernized Registry and Statewide Efforts to Save Lives via Organ and Tissue Donation

NEW YORK, NY, November 14, 2017 – Recognizing the increasing role that technology and social media play in daily lives, Donate Life New York State (DLNYS) is celebrating the launch of the updated, state-of-the-art Donate Life Registry at Facebook NYC Headquarters.

As announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo in October, Donate Life New York worked with the State Department of Health to launch a modern and expanded registry. Enhancements include a more accessible and user-friendly website and the ability to access the registry from multiple state websites, thereby streamlining the registration process. The current registry was launched nearly 10 years ago. The more modern registry application better connects users and offers social media sharing options, like the initiative celebrated today with Facebook.

“Millions of New Yorkers turn to Facebook each day for news and updates from friends and family, and we couldn’t think of a more appropriate venue to celebrate the easy-to-use New York State Donate Life Registry,” said Aisha Tator, Executive Director of Donate Life New York State. “Our hope is that through the use of Facebook and other social networks, word will spread about the registry and as a result, New Yorkers waiting for that lifesaving phone call will receive their transplant.”

The modernized registry makes it easier than ever to enroll, and help save a life by becoming an organ donor.

  • Every 17 hours, a New Yorker dies waiting for a life-saving transplant.
  • One organ donor can save up to eight lives, while tissue donated by one person can positively impact the lives of more than 75 people.
  • On average, 22 people die each day in the United States from causes that could have been treated with a donated organ.

The enhanced registry complements a series of measures recently announced by Governor Cuomo aimed at increasing organ donation, including an Executive Order that directs the State Health Department to work with all state agencies to provide the public with additional opportunities to become an organ donor through the Donate Life Registry and making Lauren’s Law – which requires DMV customers to check one of the two boxes related to organ donation in order for their application to be processed – permanent in New York State.

Joining DLNYS to celebrate the enhanced registry are representatives of several organizations who work tirelessly to support organ donation enrollment efforts including State and legislative champions, members representing all New York State organ procurement organizations and state-licensed tissue and eye banks, community leaders, and families who have benefitted from donations.

What Organ Donation Means to Me

  • One family that has witnessed the positive impact of organ donation up close is the Bourjolly family from Springfield Gardens, New York.
  • Merida Bourjolly, the mother of a small daughter, thought every time she received kidney dialysis may be her last.
  • All that changed for Merida on December 4th, 2016 when she received her kidney transplant.

“My gift of life has allowed me to not only imagine, wish and dream of living out my future, but to actually have the opportunity to live out my dream and experience my life as a new healthy person,” said Merida Bourjolly. “I want people to know that donation is one of the most precious and meaningful gifts you can give of yourself and others. To save other human beings and leave not just a legacy but a piece of yourself to live on within them can only show the bravery and love that the donor and their family have for life. To have your life honored for also saving a stranger’s life as my own can leave many speechless at the thought of the gift of life.”

Support from Partner Organizations

Several organizations voiced their enthusiastic support for the modern and expanded registry, the efforts of DLNYS, Governor Cuomo, state legislators and the Department of Health for making a difference in the lives of thousands of New Yorkers who are awaiting a lifesaving organ, tissue and eye transplant:

Bea Grause, President, Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), said, “As a partner in promoting donation, HANYS salutes Donate Life New York State and the Department of Health for making it easier for New Yorkers to sign up to be organ and tissue donors. The improved donor registry will boost enrollment and enhance the ongoing efforts of New York State’s hospitals and health systems to bring attention to this critical need, facilitate donation, support donor families, and perform life-saving and healing organ and tissue transplants.”

Lee Perlman, Greater New York Hospital Association Executive Vice President and LiveOnNY Board Member said, “The culture of donation is something we should continue to focus on, and we all need to work together to make it easier on families to understand their contribution and the importance of their donation. I applaud DLNYS and our local and state government for the launch of the improved registry, and GNYHA remains committed to doing everything it can to educate and motivate New Yorkers on the importance of becoming organ and tissue.”

Stephen Acquario, Executive Director, New York State Association of Counties

“We take our role in county government very seriously, and know that we can be a key to saving thousands of New Yorkers lives,” said Stephen J. Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties. “Our role at the DMV, social services, Veterans programs and Naturalization programs can help shape public opinion. The success we’ve seen through our ‘Working Together, Working for Life’ campaign is just the start, and with the new New York State Donate Life Registry we will continue to make a difference.”

For More Information:

New Yorkers can find more on how to enroll in the NYS Donate Life Registry by visiting the following sites:

About Donate Life New York State

Donate Life New York State (DLNYS), formerly the New York Alliance for Donation, is a not-for-profit with a mission to increase organ, eye and tissue donation in New York State through collaborative advocacy, education, promotion, and research. Its goal is to ensure a transplant for every New Yorker in need. DLNYS is comprised of the four organ procurement organizations, three eye and tissue banks and/or processors, and affiliates, including dedicated donation and transplantation professionals