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Offline Clark

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"Life well lived is worth sharing."
« on: January 22, 2015, 11:28:10 AM »

Message of organ donation shifts from death to life
 Patti Singer

A new campaign to encourage organ donation is shifting the message from death to life.

"We want you to live your life to the fullest," said Rob Kochik, executive director of the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, "and then pass life on."

The Ad Council of Rochester worked with the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network and health care organizations to develop the ads and website PassLifeOn.org, which show how precious the gift of life can be.

"The campaign shows that when an organ donor donates, they are passing on many, many life moments to the recipients," Kochik said Tuesday.

A video shows people of all ages in everyday moments — a toddler learning to walk, a child playing piano, two men playing basketball, a woman painting, a young couple getting married and an older couple dancing — as a narrator accepts the fact that she won't be around forever to enjoy her own life.

"We're hopeful the ad shows how grateful patients are who have received transplants and are able to live their lives as well," he said.

The Ad Council coordinated more than $100,000 in donations and services. TV commercials are scheduled to begin Feb. 1 and print ads will appear in several publications. The campaign will start in Rochester and expand to Syracuse, Elmira and Watertown, other areas served by Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network.

With 22 percent of eligible adults on the donor registry, New York has a lower rate than 48 states and the District of Columbia, according to a report from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, one of several partners in the project. Adults in New York represent 10 percent of all Americans waiting for a donation.

Nationally, the donor rate averages about 45 percent, and Kochik said the rate in the Finger Lakes network is about 30 percent. "We would like to be in the 45 percent to 50 percent range," he said.

PassLifeOn.org links to the New York State Donate Life Registry, as well as the registries of other states. Kochik said donor groups are trying to change New York's balky application process, which he said is a barrier to enrollment.

Kochik said the ad campaign marks a shift for his organization. Most of its time is spent working with hospitals, which are required to notify the local procurement organization when a patient is near death or has died. He said data shows that if someone hasn't enrolled and families have not talked about organ donation, fewer than half say the deceased person would like to be a donor.

He said PassLifeOn.org is trying to get families to talk about donation at less stressful times.

"Instead of saying, 'become an organ donor today,' what we should have been (doing) is asking people to enroll in the registry."

Kochik said it's not like anyone is in a hurry to collect.

"By enrolling in the registry, we're not asking you to donate organs today."
« Last Edit: January 22, 2015, 11:30:46 AM by Clark »
Unrelated directed kidney donor in 2003, recipient and I both well.
626 time blood and platelet donor since 1976 and still giving!
Elected to the OPTN/UNOS Boards of Directors & Executive, Kidney Transplantation, and Ad Hoc Public Solicitation of Organ Donors Committees, 2005-2011
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