socastcmsRssStartBy Cole Lauterbach | Illinois News NetworksocastcmsRssEnd
Illinois officials and religious leaders are hoping the National Donor Sabbath this weekend will convince people to look past some of the common misconceptions about organ donation.
The National Donor Sabbath runs this Friday through the weekend. Illinois officials use the event to tour various religious institutions and talk to them about common concerns that people say prevent them from joining the organ donor list.
Some religions, like Shinto, have beliefs that keep some followers from donating organs. Nearly all western religions encourage joining the list.
Secretary of State Jesse White said people still die every year waiting for a match.
“Four thousand seven hundred individuals are on the waiting list and each year about 300 people die because organs have not arrived in a timely manner,” White said. “I plan to spend every day of my life encouraging individuals to become a part of this meaningful program.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson’s son saved his life by donating a kidney to him in 2017. He says there are a lot of people that could show their potential if given the gift that his son gave him.
“The gift of organ donation is tremendous,” he said. “We have a lot of great people out there that just need an opportunity to show their greatness to the world.”
Common misconceptions that White is looking to dispel include age, medical condition or a concern that a person on the donor list won’t get the best treatment if there’s motivation to get a donor’s organs.
White’s office maintains the state’s official registry of people who wish to donate organs/tissue upon their death.
Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State’s Organ/Tissue Donor Registry at LifeGoesOn.com, by calling 800-210-2106 or by visiting a Driver Services facility.