News Release from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2007
Contact:Nick Almanza
(512) 463-0121

State Registry Allows Texans to Express their Wish to Save Lives
"Donate Life Texas Day at the Capitol" Press Conference and Donor Drive

Austin, TX -- According to a recent Gallup poll, nine out of ten Americans support organ and tissue donation, but more than 60 percent don't know what steps are actually required to become an organ, tissue, or eye donor.

During Donate Life Texas Day at the Capitol, Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), and Representative Jodie Laubenberg (R-Wylie) along with representatives from the state's three Organ Procurement Organizations and the Texas Transplantation Society will hold a press conference to make people aware of the new state donor registry.

The late Representative Glenda Dawson (R-Pearland) was the original sponsor of HB120, which created the donor registry as part of the Texas DEAR program (Donor Education, awareness, and Registry program) The Senate version of the bill, SB24, was successfully passed by Senator Judith Zaffirini.

This session, Senator Zaffirini and Rep. Laubenberg have introduced a bill, SB1500/HB2145, that would rename the Texas organ donor registry to the "Glenda Dawson Donate Life-Texas Registry." Dawson's colleagues and members of the organ procurement organizations thought it fitting to rename the registry in her honor. In addition, by adding "Donate Life-Texas" to the registry name, Texas will become the 27th state to join the national Donate Life America initiative.

"Glenda felt strongly about educating others on the subject of organ and tissue donation. She received the gift of life from her sister and wanted everyone in her situation to have a second chance at life. This is an honor to Representative Dawson's memory and to her passion for this program," stated Representative Laubenberg.

Organ donation advocates remind the public they still need to tell their family about their decision. Senator Zaffirini hopes that by changing the name of the registry, many more people will become aware of the registry and will take the time to enroll. "When Rep. Dawson and I passed the legislation that created the Donation, Education, and Registry Program in 2005, we provided Texas with its first statewide organ and tissue donor registry, which helps save countless persons in need of transplants. SB 1500 would further enhance Texas' organ and tissue donor registry and provide a fitting tribute to its champion by making her the namesake of the Glenda Dawson Donate Life-Texas Registry. I am proud to sponsor this bill and celebrate April as National Donate Life month."

SB1500 has been heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, where it passed unanimously and is headed for the full Senate. HB 2145 has been heard in the House Public Health Committee and will be voted on at the next committee meeting.

Today more than 96,000 people wait for an organ that will save or greatly enhance their lives. More than 7,000 of them live right here in Texas. Learn more about saving lives at http://www.shareyourlife.org, or sign up to be an organ donor at http://www.texasdear.org.

Event: Donate Life Texas Day at the Capitol Press Conference and Donor Drive
With Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, Senator Judith Zaffirini, Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, LifeGift Organ Donation Center, Southwest Transplant Alliance, Texas Transplantation Society
Date:April 17, 2007, 11:00 am
Location:Capitol Extension, Room E2.018 (House Conference Room C)

Donor families and transplant recipients will also be recognized on the House floor on April 17 at 10 am. They will be available for interviews following the press conference. Visitors can also register at the Donor Drive following the press conference until 3pm.

Contact: Michelle Segovia, Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, 512-554-7795
Laurie Reece, Texas Transplantation Society, 512-370-1512

The Texas Organ Sharing Alliance is one of 58 federally designated Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO) in the United States. Founded in 1975 as a not-for-profit corporation, TOSA covers 56 counties in Central and South Texas. TOSA is committed to providing organ donation and recovery services to families wishing to donate, and to those waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

The mission of Texas Transplantation Society is to facilitate transplantation in Texas through education and advocacy. TTS was founded in 1987.

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