The Chris Klug Foundation is in New York for the TCS NYC Marathon. To kick the weekend off we went to the Mount Sinai Hospital where we met with a few patients, pre & post transplant. It was a very special day to be able to speak with, inspire and give hope to those going through such a life changing experience.
We were met there by Lauren Sheilds, who continues to help increase the number of registered donors in the state of New York from 11% to now 17%, by implementing Lauren’s Law. This is the highest percentage rate of registered donors ever seen in New York. Lauren is the recipient of a heart transplant. She received her transplant when she was 7 years old. Since then she has been a strong advocate for organ donation.
Lauren’s Law, which was passed in 2012, makes the question- if you are willing to be an organ donor- mandatory when a New Yorker applies for a driver’s license. The law was recently extended for four more years this year, 2016, which is great news for organ donor awareness.
New York has the third longest list of people waiting to receive an organ donation. Since there are so many people waiting and so few people registered, it has made it so every 16 hours one New Yorker dies waiting for that life-saving organ transplant. CKF met with a post-transplant patient today, who was on blood transfusions for 20 years, before receiving his life-saving kidney.
It was such an inspiring day to be in the presence of both Lauren and Chis. Their stories give hope to those just beginning their journey on a second chance.