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PUBLISHED: 3:35 PM on Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Alaska Donor Registry hits 300,000 Milestone
Anchorage - Life Alaska Donor Services announced today that the Alaska Donor Registry for organ and tissue donation reached a new milestone this morning when the list topped 300,000 registrants. This number equates to 62 percent of licensed drivers and 47 percent of Alaskans who made the choice to become organ and tissue donors at the time of their death. Per capita, Alaska has one of the highest donation rates in the country.

Here in Alaska, approximately 160 people are waiting for organ transplants and more are in need of tissue. Over 96,000 people in this country are on the waiting list for an organ transplant and hundreds of thousands more are in need of tissue to restore their mobility and sight.

Every year there are more than 20,000 organs and more than 1,000,000 tissues and corneas transplanted in the United States, yet 18 people die each day waiting for a transplant that does not come in time.

National research shows that although 98 percent of Americans support donation, only 30 percent know the essential steps to take to become a donor. The public can get answers to their questions as well as guidelines for how to become a donor in Alaska by visiting www.alaskadonorregistry.org.

"One donor can save or enhance the lives of more than 50 people," says Michael French, Life Alaska's Public Education Coordinator. "This is a great example of how much power each individual can have simply by making and acting on the decision to Donate Life."

Life Alaska Donor Services is the not-for-profit tissue donation organization serving the state of Alaska, offering the option of donation to families who have suffered a death in Alaska. Life Alaska was established in 1992 as the state's tissue donation program. Since that time, Life Alaska has had many donors and has supplied thousands of tissues for transplantation to Alaskan patients. Life Alaska works in partnership with LifeCenter Northwest Organ Donor Network, the federally designated organ procurement organization for Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Northern Idaho, located in Belleview, WA to provide education on organ and tissue donation throughout the state. Tissue donations have taken place across the state, from Ketchikan to Barrow.


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