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Secretary Land honors organ donors and families at Manistee rosebush planting ceremony
JULY 7, 2010
Land encourages more donor names on state registry
Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land today recognized the generosity of organ donors and their families during a ceremony at West Shore Medical Center in Manistee.
Land participated in the 11th annual Gift of Life rosebush planting ceremony sponsored by Gift of Life Michigan and the Organ Transplant Support Group of Northern Michigan. Event coordinator Beverly Cherwinski invited Land to speak because of her commitment to organ and tissue donation. Cherwinski is a lung transplant recipient and the founder of the Organ Transplant Support Group of Northern Michigan.
"This event continues to be a reminder of the generosity of those who gave the gift of life," said Land. "Even though we have more than doubled the number of names on the registry, growing it to nearly 1.9 million, we need to do more. There are still nearly 3,000 people awaiting a life-saving transplant. I encourage you to put your name on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. Enroll online or at any Secretary of State office, and give the gift of life."
Rosebush planting ceremonies have been held in Gaylord, Cheboygan, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Traverse City, Gladwin, Alpena, Ludington, Cadillac and West Branch. The events are marked by the planting of the Gift of Life rose, a hybrid tea rose developed in honor of all donor families.
Nationally, approximately 108,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant and on average 19 people die each day. In light of these statistics, Land continues to discuss the need for donors.
This year Land again promoted Donate Life Month and Buddy Day, which are observed each April. During Buddy Day, more than 400 Gift of Life Michigan, Michigan Eye-Bank, Lions Club and Hospice of Michigan volunteers staffed Secretary of State offices statewide to promote organ and tissue donation. Due in part to these events, approximately 145,000 names have been added to Michigan's Organ Donor Registry so far this year.
Other events and programs continue to promote organ donation. During a recent event in Marquette, Land presented the Shining Star award to Range Telecommunications for providing communications equipment that links possible organ transplant recipients and hospitals. The award was created by Land to recognize individuals or groups that have shown exceptional dedication and extraordinary effort in promoting the importance of organ and tissue donation. More than 16 people and organizations have received a Shining Star since its inception in 2005.
The "Show Us Your Heart" enrollment program, which began in January 2007, continues throughout the state. Residents signing up to be organ donors receive a heart sticker for the front of their driver's license or state identification card. The sticker quickly alerts medical personnel to cardholders' wishes to be donors. Land reminds residents to sign up again if they enrolled in the past but don't have the heart logo on their license.
For more information about the Department of State organ and tissue donor initiatives, visit www.Michigan.gov/sos.
Residents with questions about organ and tissue donation may contact Gift of Life Michigan at (800) 482-4881 or www.giftoflifemichigan.org.
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