Organ Donation Advocates Push For Lauren's Law

Heart transplant recipient Lauren Shields joins Senator Carlucci in New York City effort to raise awareness of organ donations.


Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange), heart transplant recipient Lauren Shields, members of the New York City Council and state Assembly, Save Lives Now New York Foundation, and other organ donation advocates from across the state recently gathered to raise awareness about New York State’s shortage of organ donations.

There are more than 10,000 New Yorkers waiting for an organ transplant and last year only 929 donations were made. Last year, 577 New Yorkers died while on the transplant waiting list.  New Yorkers have to wait longer for a transplant than recipients in other states because of the low number of registered donors.  Nationwide 42 percent of the population is registered as organ donors, compared to only 18 percent in New York State.

A law pending in the New York state legislature would make it easier for people to become organ donors.Known as Lauren’s Law it was named after , the 12-year-old heart transplant recipient who has become a committed campaigner and staunch advocate to raise awareness about the need for organ and tissue donors. The law would require driver’s license and voter registration applicants to either elect or decline organ donor registration.  

Shields shared with the crowd at New York City Hall how terrifying that wait can be.

“The waiting is a very scary time no matter how old you are or the type of organ you are waiting for,” she says. “You go to sleep hoping that the call will come but when you open your eyes in the morning you realize it didn’t.” 

"It is absolutely imperative that we pass Lauren's Law so that more people have a greater chance to obtain a life-saving organ donation in New York," said State Senator David Carlucci, author of the bill. "Lauren Shields' story is a powerful testament to the critical nature of this life and death issue. It is my hope that her passion and persistence translates into legislative action in the halls of Albany, and throughout the nation as a whole."

“The 10,000 New Yorkers currently on the waiting list are literally in a life-and-death waiting game,” said Rocco Andriola, Chairman of Save Lives Now New York Foundation. “Unfortunately, our state ranks second from the bottom in the U.S. in donor registrations.  We firmly believe that Lauren’s Law is a major step in the right direction in an effort to address the severe organ shortage crisis.” 

Save Lives Now New York is the only organization in the state focused on developing innovative public policy initiatives to significantly increase the supply of organs available for transplant. Save Lives Now New York Foundation, Inc. is a 501c3 not for profit.

Erika Desimone May 23, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Show your support for Lauren, Organ Donation and the hundreds of thousands of people waiting for a life-saving transplant! If you're in the NYC Metro area, come join a fun, family filled day with activities for every age! The SHARE NJ 5K Walk/Run • Sunday, June 10 691 Central Ave., New Providence, NJ WWW.SHARENJ5K.org
John Taggart May 23, 2012 at 03:11 PM
A recent change in NY was now when you renew or get your drivers license you have to answer yes or now on the form. When you answer yes it appears on the front of your license under a little red heart. So answer yes when you renew. Its deplorable that NY has the most waiting and the least saying yes. Another idea is to change protocol to be more like europe. In europe if you die in a crash you are assumed to de a donor unless you or your family object, in the USA you are not unless you or your family offers. My wife received a living donation of a kidney from a friend last year, type 1 diebetic on dialisis for 6 months prior and wasnt doing well wouldn't have lasted the 5 year wait in NY. Everyone check yes and shorten the wait !
Cal Mendelsohn May 23, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Anything that enhances the ability of people to register for this most important life-saving designation is great by me! As a registered organ donor, I urge everyone to register likewise!
Sue Pen May 24, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Like our money we can't take it with us when we go...So let someone else get the gift of more time when our time is over. It really is a priceless gift to the person in need of an organ. I can only hope if my family losses me, someone else can live on because I checked yes! More people should at least think about it when registering or getting a license. I hope it helps! If you are a healthy person, you should donate :)


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