LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos on Monday applauded the recent announcement by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson that over 60 percent of Michigan adults are registered as organ donors.
“There are thousands of Americans currently in need of a lifesaving organ transplant, including more than 3,500 people here in Michigan,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “As part of an effort to save and improve lives, it is great news that more than 60 percent of Michigan adults are now registered as organ donors.
“Lauren’s Law is already showing great results in helping boost registration numbers. I want to thank Secretary of State Johnson for her help on that new law and applaud her for her efforts to more than double the percentage of registered organ donors in our state.”
In January 2011, only 27 percent of eligible Michigan residents were registered organ donors.
Proos sponsored Senate Resolution 14 to declare Valentine’s Day as Organ Donor Registry Day in a bipartisan effort to spread awareness of the state’s registry.
The senator also sponsored Public Act 451 of 2016 to require the secretary of state’s office to ask whether someone wishes to be added to the organ donor registry when they apply for a driver’s license. The act is named “Lauren’s Law” after Lauren Shields, who at age 9 was placed on life support while waiting for a heart transplant and helped pass a similar law in New York.
Proos got involved in the issue at the initiative of John Grinnell, a Southwest Michigan resident and kidney transplant recipient.
“I received the gift of life 30 years ago, which has allowed me to enjoy life with my lovely wife and our children and to meet and love our grandchildren,” said Grinnell. “While my life has been a miracle, many others in Michigan die waiting for organ donations that never come.”
Proos said, “It is also important to remind residents that there is still a tremendous need for more donors. Registering to become an organ donor can give hope to people we may never know or potentially save the life of someone we love.”
According to Donate Life America, more than 115,000 men, women and children nationwide currently need an organ transplant; every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list; and an average of 22 people die each day waiting for an available organ.
Residents can join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry by visiting www.ExpressSOS.com and clicking on “Organ Donation” on the left.
Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos are available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.