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Melissa Caldwell: Two million registrants a major milestone for Kentucky’s Organ Donor Registry

Kentucky’s Organ Donor Registry has just reached a remarkable milestone: the number of organ, eye and tissue donation registrants residing in the Commonwealth has surpassed the two million mark. The announcement was made during a press conference in Lexington on May 13 by representatives of Trust for Life, the charitable arm of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks, whose lifesaving mission for the past 27 years has been organ, eye and tissue donation education.

This is indeed a historical moment for the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. Since its inception in 1992, our singular charge has been to grow and expand Kentucky’s registry, most notably with the Driver’s License Renewal Program established in 1993, and which allows every resident renewing his or her driver’s license the opportunity to become a donor, as well as donate $1 in support of organ donation awareness.

The announcement comes on the heels of the recent passage of Kentucky Senate Bill 77 which expands the state’s organ, eye and tissue donor registration through an easily accessible sign-on system, a repository for state services, and effective January 1, 2020. This bill will greatly assist the current driver’s license renewal program. Beginning this month Kentucky driver’s licenses will expire after eight years versus four.

In attendance during the press conference was Mike Lutz, who is alive today thanks to a successful liver transplant. “I’m so grateful to have received a second chance at life through the selfless action of a stranger who donated,” he said. “This should give hope to the many others who wait for the second chance at life I was so fortunate to receive.”

I encourage everyone to visit www.trustforlife.org learn more about organ donation and how easy it is to join the Kentucky Donor Registry. To help save lives as a donor, register today at DonateLifeKY.org, RegisterMe.org or say “yes” to donation when receiving or renewing your Kentucky state driver’s license or state identification card at your local Circuit Court Clerk’s Office and let’s continue to grow and build on our momentum.

Melissa Cardwell is Butler County Circuit Court Clerk and president of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust for Life

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