I thought I'd share clips of the article below with our friends in our new state home of Texas.
Click here for full story!
"When it comes to the percentage of registered organ donors, the state of Texas is near the bottom of the list. One reason that number is so low is because many who think they're registered aren't in the system.
In Donate Life's national donor designation report card, Texas ranks last in percent of registered donors. The Texas Organ Sharing Alliance's Michelle Segovia said one of the reasons the number is so low is Texas' program is relatively new.
"This registry is only three years old and it's all about getting the word out to fellow Texans and let them know that there is a new registry in place where you can designate your wishes," she said.
One of the easiest ways to register your wishes is when you renew your driver’s license. Previous programs didn't keep a database of people who registered. So many people, who think they're registered, aren't in the system."
According to the report card, as of 12.31.09 Texas has approximately 440,000 registered donors and 17,886,333 citizens over the age of 18. That's a whopping 2% of Texas citizens!! Just as a side note, the Donate Life Texas site has more recent numbers of 936,524...almost double the report card numbers from 6 months ago! Way to got Texas!!
As for my home state Iowa, 990,732 people are registered donors and there are 2,294,701 citizens over the age of 18. That comes out to 43%! I also recently read somewhere that Iowa hit the 1 million mark for registered donors! To give you an idea where Texas is comparable to a similar sized (population) state: Florida has approximately 36% of it's 14,480,196 citizens (18+) registered on it's registry.
So, why is Texas so far behind other states? I've come to the conclusion that since the Texas donor registry is only 4 years old, it's lack of education and branding! I just get the feeling that not many people understand how to become a registered donor. For example, I was having lunch with a bunch of girlfriends the other week and we were showing each other our drivers licenses. I of course was proud of mine, not only because I took a great picture and I have my new last name on it, but because of the little heart in the bottom right corner. One of my friends asked how I had that on my license and no one else did. It's quite simple really, it's on the new license application form, but I could see how it could be easy to skip over!
Don't get me wrong, the other Texas Organ Sharing and Donate Life Texas material I've seen great and is offered in both English and Spanish! Their websites are very easy to understand, and the steps provided to register are concise and simple. Yet, maybe the other states just have time and experience in their pockets. (Additionally, Texas is a pretty large state so I'm guessing the larger audience has a lot to do with lack of response!)
So, my fellow Texans we need to spread the news on how to register!
Option 1: Register when you renew your drivers license
Option 2: If you have a few years before your license renewal you can easily register online
Either method you choose, please PLEASE remember another important step is to discuss your final wishes with your family members!
I think in no time the state of Texas' registry will catch up and even surpass the other states!! We just need to spread the news on how and where to register!