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Organ Donor Awareness Program Kicks Off

By Jillian Bannister

Buffalo, NY – A recent national study shows that while nine out of ten people support organ and tissue donation, only 34 percent know the proper steps for committing to such a donation.

Western New York Transplant Services is kicking off National Donate Life Month to raise awareness for organ donations. At Mercy Hospital Thursday, Family Support Counselor Darlene Aymerich talked about her own experience of donating organs from her deceased daughter. She says the single most important step in becoming a donor is to talk about it with family.

"You need to talk about it and once you talk about it, you never forget it," Aymerich said. "Being a donor mom, I can say that is the only positive thing that came out of the worst day of my life. I got something good from something bad. My daughter Shannon's legacy lives on through others and its a wonderful feeling to know that something good can come out of it. But you need to talk about it."

Western New Yorkers are encouraged to sign a donor card or the back of their driver's license if they want to become donors.

They can also visit the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry at www.unyts.org.