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Secretary Land: Show us your heart!

Image: Buddy Week - April 9-13

March 28, 2007

Heart-logo campaign takes center stage
with the start of Buddy Week on April 9

Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land is asking Michigan residents to "show their heart" by signing up to be organ and tissue donors during Buddy Week, which begins Monday, April 9.

Enrollees will receive a heart sticker designating their wish for their driver's license or state identification card. With the sticker in place, there is no need to fill out the organ donor information on the back of the card. The heart sticker campaign began Jan. 1 and continues until the programming that allows licenses and ID cards to be "branded" with a permanent heart logo is in place.

April is designated nationally as "Donate Life Month," and the Department of State, Gift of Life Michigan and Michigan Eye-Bank sponsor Buddy Week in recognition of organ donation's benefits and to highlight the critical need for donors. During Buddy Week, organ and tissue donor supporters, or Buddies, meet with the public at Secretary of State offices to promote enrollment on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.

"This is an event I look forward to each year because you cannot meet the donors, donor families and recipients and not be moved by their tremendous stories," Land said. "Although it can be difficult to talk about, organ donation really does transform lives. I am proud of the work our organ donor advocates have done to promote this worthy cause and will enjoy meeting with them and the public throughout Buddy Week."

Buddy Week begins on Monday, April 9 with a news conference hosted by Land in Detroit. Tuesday, April 10 is designated as "Buddy Day," and 298 Gift of Life Michigan and Michigan Eye-Bank Buddies will visit 133 branch offices from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to distribute organ donor information. Buddies have either had a transplant or are waiting for one, or they are a donor family member or donation supporter.

Land said the weeklong emphasis will be to encourage residents to add their names to the registry, including different segments of the population, such as those in the corporate, educational, health-care and government sectors.

The department's Web site makes registering easy with its online enrollment program at www.Michigan.gov/sos. Branch office clerks are also happy to enroll any customers who ask to have their names added to the registry.

Gift of Life Michigan is the state's certified, full-service organ recovery organization. The agency acts as an intermediary between donors, physicians and hospital staff. For more information about organ donation, contact Gift of Life Michigan at (800) 482-4881 or www.giftoflifemichigan.org.

The Michigan Eye-Bank's mission is the restoration of sight by educating people about the ongoing need for eye donors. To learn more, call (800) 247-7250 or visit the organization's Web site at www.michiganeyebank.org.

For more information about Department of State organ donation initiatives, visit its Web site at www.Michigan.gov/sos.




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