LAKEWOOD, Friday, April 15, 2022 — “Would you like to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor?” Such a seemingly simple question the DMV asks when Coloradans renew or get a driver license or identification card has implications far beyond getting a Donor heart on a credential.
The question helps save hundreds of lives each year by signing up selfless Coloradans on the Donate Life Colorado Organ & Tissue Donor Registry. The registry is key to Donate Life Colorado and its mission to save lives.
That mission and the generous donors who make saving lives possible was honored during a flag-raising commemorating National Donate Life Month on Friday, April 15 at the Department of Revenue’s main office in Lakewood.
The event was hosted jointly by Donate Life Colorado and the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles.
Flag-raising ceremonies commemorating National Donate Life Month began with various hospitals throughout the U.S. National Donate Life Month is a month-long celebration in April which honors the generosity of organ, eye and tissue donors and their families, and commemorates all transplant recipients and those still waiting for a lifesaving transplant.
The DMV works hand-in-hand with Donate Life Colorado to save lives by registering donors, sharing donation information and resources, as well as taking donations for the Emily Keyes -John W. Buckner Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Fund at DMV offices throughout the state.
“Whenever a Colorado resident walks into a driver license office to renew or obtain a driver license or ID, they’re asked if they want to sign-up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Our partnership with Donate Life Colorado ensures our driver license team understands the significance of this question,” Executive Director Mark Ferrandino said. “Hosting this flag-raising event is just one way we can show our support for Donate Life Colorado and raise awareness in the community.”
While this has been a long-standing tradition with hospitals, the Colorado DMV is one of only a handful of state motor vehicle divisions across the country to host a Donate Life flag-raising event.
“This year, Donor Alliance invited our partners at driver license offices to join hospitals across the state in flying the Donate Life flag,” said Jennifer Prinz, CEO and President of Donor Alliance, the federally designated nonprofit organization that facilitates organ and tissue donation in Colorado and most of Wyoming. “Donate Life flags serve as a nationwide display of unity, remembrance and hope, while honoring those affected by donation and transplantation since 2006. We appreciate our DMV partners collaborating to honor our heroic organ, eye, and tissue donors, to celebrate those who receive life-enhancing and life-saving transplants, and to remember those who continue to wait for life changing transplants.”
In 2021, 67% of Coloradans said yes to joining the Donate Life Colorado Organ and Tissue Donor Registry when getting their driver license or I.D. card. The national average is 58%.
Colorado continues to be one of the most generous states in the U.S. when it comes to donation and Donor Alliance recorded another remarkable year for organ and tissue donation and transplantation. 226 organ donors from Colorado provided 614 life-saving transplants in 2021. The organization also worked with 1,923 tissue donors and their families to recover the lifesaving and healing tissue that will provide tissue such as bone and skin grafts to thousands of recipients in need.
Despite the progress that has been made, there are still around 1,500 people in Colorado on the transplant waiting list. Saying Yes when obtaining or renewing a driver license or state ID supports the mission to save the lives of our neighbors through organ, eye and tissue donation. Learn more at DonateLifeColorado.org.
The DMV is committed to providing services for all Coloradans where they are needed most, whether it’s in-office, online or on the go. Visit DMV.Colorado.gov/Anywhere to find out how you can DMV anywhere. Yes, anywhere.