Become an organ donor

Hartford, Conn. (WTNH) —  A simple mark on your drivers license, a heart, designates that you are an organ donor. And the choice to have that icon on your license can wind up saving lives.

Seven-year-old Diane Langguth is reason enough to check off the organ donor box when you renew your driver license.

What is she waiting for? “A liver transplant,” she said. she’s been waiting for two years.

Diane is one of 1,400 people in Connecticut waiting for a an organ or tissue transplant. Donate Life Connecticut holds a ceremony at the capitol every year to try to get more people to become organ donors. That would mean more lives saved. Jane Andrews is one of the lucky ones.

“I waited for at least four years, more than two years of that on dialysis, before I finally got the phone call that saved my life,” Andrews said.

That phone call let her know that she could get the pancreas and kidney she needed. Jane was the featured speaker for this ceremony. Thanks to this transplant, she’s now fine.

“I live as close to as normal a life as possible,” she said. “I thought I enjoyed life before. Now it’s probably 10 or 20 times what I did before.”

If you watch the news, you know tragedies happen all the time. A way to make something good come out of them is to sign up to be an organ donor, and no matter what you’ve heard, no doctor is going to treat you any differently just because you’ve got that little heart symbol on your license.

Donate Life also runs an art contest. High School students come up with their own ideas how to encourage people to sign up.

“We use them in campaigns, we use them at the DMV,” said Allison Mahon, who sits on the Donate Life CT board of directors. “One of the posters today in particular will probably be used at the DMV because it shows the heart that appears on your license.”

But you can just go to the little girl on the Donate Life posters for the best reason to become an organ donor.

“Because I need one,” Diane said.

Because she needs one. What better reason is there? It takes about a minute to sign up online. You can learn more at donatelifect.org .

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