Last updated: August 26. 2014 7:01PM - 1076 Views
By - mlasley@civitasmedia.com

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Grayson County Circuit Court Clerk Stacie Blain has recently taken up the cause of encouraging more local individuals to sign up as registered organ donors.

Currently, 28 percent of Grayson County’s population is on the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry, as opposed to the statewide 44 percent; and one person is added to the organ donation waiting list every 10 minutes.

To hopefully inspire more people to register, Blain, in late July, gathered a group of local individuals who have registered as organ donors or benefited from organ donation to tell their stories, so they might have a better understanding of just how many lives have been touched by organ donation in Grayson County.

“My staff asks every single person who comes in to the driver’s license office if they would like to be a registered organ donor,” Blain said. “We hope that these stories will put a face to the cause, so they feel more connected to what they are saying ‘yes’ to.”

Mike Torrence (kidney donor), Mike White (kidney recipient), Donna VanMeter (kidney donor), Penny Reece (kidney donor), Logan Reece (double kidney recipient), Bridgett Downey-Lush (kidney donor), and Brenda Miller (double lung recipient) were among those in attendance at the event.

Blain said everyone in attendance left the gathering feeling inspired, and she hopes to keep up that momentum to sign more and more people to the registry.

“I want to see more Grayson County residents getting excited about signing up on the registry. I want them to say, ‘If I could help out my neighbor, I would,’” Blain said. “We have so many giving people here in our community, and I think it is important that they are not only recognized, but also given the opportunity to take that selflessness and turn it into a ‘yes’ when asked to be an organ donor.”

Blain has also been working alongside the Circuit Court Clerk’s Trust For Life, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about donation, to increase the number of individuals who register to donate.

Trust For Life answers questions, refutes myths, and educates the public about the crucial need for more registered donors in Kentucky.

“I called up the Trust and invited them to my office to hear some of the amazing gift of life stories we had here,” Blain said. “Hopefully, these promotional materials around the driver’s license office will help spread awareness so everyone can see what a giving community we have.”

Blain said she and her staff will tally up the number of new registered organ donors at the end of the month.

For more information about organ donation or to share a gift-of-life story, visit Trust for Life’s website, www.trustforlife.org. Individuals may also sign up to be a registered organ donor at www.donatelifeky.org.

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