Secretary of State Ruth Johnson honors Sen. John Proos with the Shining Star Award

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos recently received the Shining Star Award from the Michigan secretary of state’s office for his work supporting organ donation.

“Sen. Proos understands the importance of making sure Michigan residents in need of a lifesaving transplant have an opportunity for that moment to occur,” said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. “Together we are committed to saving and improving lives through organ, tissue and eye donation.”

Proos was nominated by Gift of Life Michigan for the Shining Star Award, which honors exceptional dedication, outstanding support, novel partnerships or extraordinary efforts in the area of organ, tissue and eye donor awareness.

In January 2017, the governor signed Proos’ measure, “Lauren’s Law,” to require the secretary of state’s office to ask customers if they would like to sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry when they apply for a driver’s license.

The law was named after a 9-year-old New York resident who received a heart transplant and became the public face of organ donation in her state. Proos became involved in the issue at the initiative of John Grinnell, a Southwest Michigan resident and kidney transplant recipient.

“It is a honor to be recognized by the secretary of state’s office and Gift of Life Michigan, who are doing incredible work to save lives by helping increase the number of registered organ donors,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Lauren’s Law is about doing all we can to give the gift of life to those in need of an organ transplant. There are nearly enough people nationwide currently in need of a lifesaving transplant to fill Ford Field in Detroit — twice.

“Lauren’s Law is proof that great things can come from listening to our residents. I want to thank John Grinnell for coming to me with this idea, and I also want to thank Secretary of State Johnson for her dedication to making sure that the benefits of Lauren’s Law are fully realized. Already, the percentage of Michigan residents signed up has more than doubled from 27 percent in 2011 to 63 percent now.”

Johnson’s West Michigan liaison Barb VanderVeen presented Proos with the award at the Niles City Council Chambers.

Proos continues to be active in raising awareness about Michigan’s organ donor registry and encouraging residents to consider registering to become an organ donor.

“Thousands of Americans are currently in need of a lifesaving organ transplant, including more than 3,200 people here in Michigan,” Proos said. “Becoming an organ donor is easy to do, and donors could save or enhance the lives of up to 75 people.”

Residents can sign up to become a donor by visiting any Michigan secretary of state branch office or by visiting www.Michigan.gov/organdonation.

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Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.

The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Photowire.