JOLIET – In an effort to help save the lives of individuals waiting on the state’s organ transplant list, state Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., D-Joliet, voted for legislation that aims to decrease waiting times for individuals needing organ transplants by allowing residents 16 years and older to legally register as organ donors.
“This proposal will not only allow 16 and 17 year olds to make an important life decision, but it will also help save lives,” Walsh said. “By making more folks eligible to become organ donors we can help reduce the time that individuals needing life-saving transplants must wait.”
Walsh is a cosponsor of House Bill 1805 which allows 16 and 17 year olds to register on the state’s organ donor list; currently individuals must be at least 18 years old.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, approximately 4,700 people are on the organ donor waiting list and about 300 people die each year waiting for an organ transplant. The proposal is expected to add roughly 250,000 residents that could be eligible to become organ donors.
“A single organ donor can improve the lives of up to 25 people,” Walsh said. “I urge my colleagues in the house and the governor to back this proposal that will have a real positive impact on the lives of thousands Illinois residents.”
House Bill 1805 passed out of the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee last week and is currently awaiting a vote in front of the full House. Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State’s Organ/Tissue Donor Registry at LifeGoesOn.com, by calling 1-800-210-2106 or visiting their local Driver Services facility.