Huntington council members Mark Cuthbertson and Joan Cergol are urging Huntington residents to register to be an organ donor as the town is hosting an Organ Donor Enrollment Day October 10. Residents can sign up at Town Hall or Huntington Hospital.
New York State ranks last in the country with only 35% of registered organ donors versus the average of 50% registered across the country.
A recent study showed that 92 percent of New Yorkers support organ and tissue donation, only 35 percent of New Yorkers are registered as organ donors. Every 18 hours, a New Yorker dies waiting for a lifesaving transplant.
That means that people can wait an average of 7 or more years to receive a lifesaving transplant. Meanwhile every 18 hours, a New Yorker dies on the waiting list. Now in its fifth year, Organ Donor Enrollment Day presents New Yorkers with a convenient opportunity to make their support known and to sign up as an organ and tissue donor. This year, Huntington Hospital is hosting Organ Donor Enrollment Day as a facet of its partnership with the LiveOnNY to facilitate tissue and organ transplants.
“I can tell you from personal experience that organ and tissue donation saves lives,” Cuthbertson said. “My son, Hunter, received a bone marrow transplant a few years ago and he is doing fine today. He was lucky, his donor was his brother. Only 25% of family members are a match, that leaves 75 percent of people needing transplants to rely on the kindness of strangers.”
Cergol also spoke on her experiences.
“A family friend’s son needed a heart transplant and I watched as he became weaker and weaker waiting for a heart, thankfully that call came and he received his transplant,” she said. “Not every New Yorker is as lucky as he was, we need to bring New York out of last place and save lives.”
Doing their part to help change the statistics, Cuthbertson and Cergol announced yesterday that preparations were underway for the 3rd annual 5k Run to Save Lives to be held on Sunday April 19, 2020 at Oldfield Middle School.
The run annually brings together competitive and recreational runners with transplant recipients, donor families and organizations promoting organ donation and highlighting the need for people to enroll as organ donors. More than 250 people participated in the 2019 race, which raised $16,000 for organ donation groups.
It’s not too early to sign up. People can register online at: https://events.elitefeats.com/april-2020-town-of-huntington-5k-to-save-lives
To sign up to be an organ donor, please go to www.liveonny.org
Compiled by David Luces