Kentuckians Show Heart: 1.5 Million Kentuckians registered as Organ & Tissue Donors

Megan - liver recipient and registered donor
Megan – liver recipient and registered donor

Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

The Circuit Court Clerks of Kentucky are a committed group of public servants who have a profound impact on the lives of those who need an organ transplant. “Over 1000 Kentuckians are waiting for their lifesaving transplant. Their families wait too. Their parents, siblings, cousins and friends are all waiting. Now, these families know that 1.5 million Kentuckians stand behind them and are willing to save their life,” explains Darlene Snyder, Madison Circuit Court Clerk.

The need is great, especially for patients like Kortney. “I’m here in the hospital and listed status 1A. It’s hard for me to read, or really think,” explains 30 year old Kortney Wanner. Kortney has been waiting on her heart transplant for years and is finally at the point where waiting much longer, isn’t an option.

“I know I’ll get my transplant. I am staying hopeful, trying to enjoy the little things with my husband and family,” says Wanner.

The Circuit Clerks and their driver’s license staff make a significant impact by asking two important questions while residents obtain a license or ID. “We ask everyone if they would like to donate $1 for public education about the mission of donation, and if they wish to be a registered organ donor,” explains LAST. Today STAT of COUNTY County residents are registered donors.

This month, Kentucky reached a milestone in the fight to save lives. Over 1.5 million Kentuckians have joined the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. Registering as a donor is very important. It is treated like a will and clearly states ones wishes to save a life, if they can, after they’re gone.

“This milestone is possible, in large part, thanks to the Circuit Clerks and their staff. Without their 2 questions, we may not have 50,000 names on the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. Because of their efforts, over 1.5 million Kentuckians have registered. The impact of the Circuit Clerks is remarkable,” said Shelley Snyder, Executive Director of the Circuit Clerks’ Trust For Life program.

Over 123,000 patients are currently waiting for their organ transplant nationwide. Tragically each day, 18 people die waiting. Every registered organ donor is a symbol of hope for patients in need.

The Circuit Clerks and the Trust For Life work to raise awareness at the driver’s license and recently contacted actor Muse Watson for his help in promoting this mission. According to IMDB.com, Mr. Watson’s theater credits include Hamlet in “Hamlet”, Stanley in “A Streetcar Named Desire”, Pale in “Burn This”, Cervantes in “Man of La Mancha”, and directing “Ain’t MisBehavin”.

In 1989, with a new commitment to acting, Muse began pursuing roles in feature film. By 2010, he had appeared in 51 feature length films sharing scenes with Julia Roberts, Jason Robards, Jon Voight, Robert Duvall, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Don Cheadle, Richard Gere, Sylvester Stallone, Robert Patrick, Hilary Swank, Kiefer Sutherland and Richard Gere. In television, he appeared as the wise Charles Westmoreland/DB Cooper in the award winning first season of Prison Break (2005) with Wentworth Miller and 11 episodes of NCIS (2003) as Mark Harmon’s mentor. Muse also gave an unforgettable performance with Jennifer Love Hewitt as a special guest on Saturday Night Live. Muse and his wife and daughter now divide their time between their home in Los Angeles and their “hide-out” in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Watson help us gain attention about this lifesaving mission. For people like Kortney, this means more than we can imagine,” explains Darlene Snyder.

All Kentucky residents are eligible to join the Donor Registry at their Circuit Clerk’s office or online at donatelifeky.org. Regardless of age or medical history, everyone can join the Registry. If you have questions about donation or would like a Trust For Life speaker to come to your school or community group, contact the Trust at 1-866-945-5433 or [email protected].

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The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust For Life is a 501C(3) non-profit organization that informs, educates, and encourages Kentuckians to be registered organ & tissue donors to save lives.
For more info call 1-866-945-5433, email [email protected] or go to www.trustforlife.org.

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