Valentine’s Day is National Donor Awareness Day

State of Nevada

Organ and Tissue Donation Task Force  

Frankie Sue Del Papa                    Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons

        Co-Chair                                            Co-Chair 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                CONTACT: Danelle Snodgrass

February 11, 2005                                                                                        (775) 687-6300 

 

VALENTINE’S DAY IS NATIONAL DONOR AWARENESS DAY

Nevadans Encouraged to “Give the Gift of Life” Through Blood, Organ and Tissue Donation

 

            Carson City – Assemblywoman Heidi Gansert and Senator Dennis Nolan, along with Former Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa and former Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, will hold a news conference at the Nevada State Legislative Building in Carson City to draw attention to National Donor Awareness Day, February 14, and to proclaim the success of the specialized organ donation license plates that were first made available in Nevada three years ago on Valentine’s Day.  So far, close to 900 Organ Donor license plates have been purchased by Nevada drivers.  The Transplant Network, Sierra Eye and Tissue Donor Services and the Nevada Organ and Tissue Donation Task Force join Gansert, Nolan, Del Papa and Gibbons in encouraging Nevada citizens to consider organ and tissue donations in honor of National Donor Awareness Day.

            Del Papa and Gibbons who co-chair Nevada’s Organ and Tissue Donation Task Force, also heralded the success the Task Force has achieved in dramatically increasing the number of people who have agreed to become organ and tissue donors.  The Task Force is comprised of members from the transplant community, organ and tissue procurement agencies, health organizations, the Nevada Legislature, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Attorney General’s Office.  Its campaign slogan is “The Gift of Life! Pass It On.”

 

            “I would like to call on all Nevadans to please give careful thought to giving ‘The Gift of Life’ by becoming an organ and tissue donor,” Del Papa said.  “The decision you make today will help save lives tomorrow.  ‘National Donor Awareness Day’ is a time when family members and loved ones are encouraged to reflect and talk about their choice to become a donor.”

            Gibbons said, “National Donor Awareness Day falls on Saint Valentine’s Day as a way to call attention to the importance of being an organ donor.  By agreeing to give the ‘Gift of Life’ Nevadans can play a significant role in helping save the lives of others through their thoughtful act of kindness.”

            The specialized organ donor license plates are available at a cost of $35, plus all applicable registration and licensing fees.  The license plates are renewable for $10 each subsequent year.

            Assemblywoman Heidi Gansert will take the reins from Dawn Gibbons as one of the representatives of the Task Force in the Nevada Legislature.  Assemblywoman Gansert said, “These specially designed license plates will help achieve the goal of alerting more Nevada citizens to the overwhelming need for additional organ and tissue donors.  I would encourage all Nevadans to consider ordering one of these specially designed plates.”

            Senator Dennis Nolan has also joined the Task Force as a representative from the Nevada Legislature.  Senator Nolan said, “The more we can get the message out to the general public about the vital importance of organ and tissue donation, the more we will be able to benefit people here in Nevada and throughout the United States who are in desperate need of a transplant.”

            More than 87,000 people in the United States are in need of a lifesaving organ transplant; more than 6,100 will die this year alone waiting for a suitable donor; and 17 transplant candidates die every day waiting for their second chance at life.

            When getting or renewing a driver’s license at DMV, the applicant will be asked if they would like to be an organ donor and if they say yes, the words “ORGAN DONOR” along with a little red heart will be printed on their driver’s license.  The final critical step is signing the driver’s license and the donor registry application.

            Assembly Bill 497, sponsored by Gibbons and passed by the 2001 Legislature, created a funding mechanism being used by the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to produce and disseminate educational materials about the critical need for more organ and tissue donors, along with empowering DMV to periodically send a list of Nevada citizens who have volunteered to be an organ donor to Statline, the organ donor registry for Nevada.

            Under the provisions of AB 497, when a person agrees to become an organ donor, DMV will ask them if they would like to donate $1 or more to the Gift of Life Education Fund. The money that is collected is used to purchase and disseminate educational literature and brochures addressing the importance of organ and tissue donation. 

            Also featured at this reception will be Emily and Chelsey Cornwall, 23 year old twins that both received heart transplants.  They will be telling their story and will also be available for interviews.  Emily and Chelsey will be appearing during the month of February in a Task Force public service announcement along with Dawn and her husband, United States Congressman Jim Gibbons.  They will also be appearing in an advertisement that includes the organ donor license plate that will run at the Century Theatres and possibly a billboard campaign as well.

            To obtain a copy of the Nevada Organ and Tissue Donor Task Force Action Plan or “The Gift of Life! Pass It On,” brochure, please go to www.giftoflife.nv.gov.  This website also contains more information as well as reference numbers for anyone who may have questions on organ and tissue donation.  The brochure also contains an application for Nevada’s organ donor registry that can be completed and sent in.  Other helpful web sites that have information are: www.thetransplantnetwork.com; www.nevadadonornetwork.org or www.dcids.org

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1000 E. William Street, Suite 200, Carson City, NV  89701

Phone:  (775) 687-6300 ext. 233

Fax:  (775) 687-6304

Website: http://giftoflife.nv.gov

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