(Albany, NY) – Sen. David Carlucci, a champion for organ donation, joined non-profit Donate Life New York State and about 30 advocates and transplant survivors at the New York State Capitol to call on the legislature to include necessary funding in the State Budget to address the organ scarcity public health crisis in New York.
New York State Senator David Carlucci said, “Without increasing the organ donor registry, New Yorkers in need of a life-saving transplant will continue to die, never having found a match. This is why I championed Lauren's Law, supported 16-and 17-year-olds to register to be an organ donor, and passed a law allowing taxpayers to make a voluntary contribution to the Life Pass It On Trust Fund. New York State Donate Life’s work to increase organ donation through education, outreach and research saves lives. We must remain committed to continue funding their work in the State budget so more New Yorker’s sign up to be registered organ donors.”
Currently, approximately 9,600 people are waiting for a life-saving transplant, making New York third in the nation for the number of patients on a wait list. With critical funding of $750,000, Donate Life NYS can promote organ and tissue donation, and funding can be put towards helping to enroll more people in the New York State Donate Life Registry.
Aisha Tator, the Executive Director of Donate Life New York State said, "On behalf of the 9,600 patients on the national transplant wait list, we are asking the Legislature to continue to show their commitment to improving New York’s donation rates by restoring the organization’s funding levels in the 20-21 State Budget. In recent years, the legislature has generously provided funding to promote organ and tissue donation and passed legislation that has resulted in measurable impacts on the number of lives saved. Transplants increased 46% from 2010 to 2018 and the New York State Donate Life Registry grew 11% in 2019. With investment, there is progress. We are urging the Legislature to continue to support Donate Life NYS’ strategic efforts to address this crisis by restoring our funding in the 20-20 State Budget."
Heart transplant survivor David Gray said, "I have dedicated my time to helping those who are waiting for a transplant and those who are newly transplant survivors. Its important patients are given hope that their miracle will come. This funding is necessary to ensure every person waiting can get the gift of life. I thank Senator Carlucci for championing this call for funding and Donate Life New York State for their advocacy so people know the facts about organ donation and its importance."
Progress continues to be made in NYS due to funding investments and Carlucc's Lauren’s Law, which requires a person to answer yes or no to becoming an organ donor when applying for a driver’s license, as opposed to being able to skip the question. Carlucci said the law has helped increase the State's average of organ donors by more than 9% since it's passage in 2012. According to Donate Life New York State, in 2019, a record-number of transplants were performed in New York, and there was a 10.7% increase in the number of enrollments added to the Registry.
"While New York has come a long way to open doors for organ donation, we still need funding to expand the program," said New York State Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz. "We've already allowed teens over 16 to authorize organ donations under the law I passed, but funding will help even more people learn about organ donation and sign up for this life saving program. I am in full support of the effort to add vital state dollars to enroll even more people as organ donors this year."
"Donate Life NYS saves lives," said New York State Senator Neil Breslin. "I stand with the 9,600 people currently awaiting an organ donation, their families and my colleagues in the legislature in asking that Donate Life NYS receive necessary funding in the budget."
One organ donor can save up to eight lives, and enrich the lives of many more through tissue donation.