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Hunter encourages organ donation during Donate Life Month

Sen. Mattie Hunter and Sec. of State Jesse WhiteSPRINGFIELD – April is National Donate Life Month. All around the nation, advocates and organizers are encouraging individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.

This 100th General Assembly, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and Secretary of State Jesse White introduced new legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for the state’s First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card.

Since the law went into effect, so far nearly 12,000 teens have registered to be donors in the state of Illinois.

“Organ donation is so important,” Hunter said. “Choosing to give life to another is a wonderful gift. Nearly 5,000 people are on the waitlist for organ or tissue donations, and about 300 people die each year because they aren’t able to get organ donation in time. Opening this donor registry has broadened the number of participants which will ultimately save countless lives.”

By joining the First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, 16- and 17-year-olds can give consent to donate their organs and tissue at the time of their death. However, the procurement organizations, Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Network and Mid-America Transplant, are required to contact a parent or guardian to ensure approval of the donation. Ultimately, the parent or guardian will have the opportunity to overturn the child’s decision.

As for donors, their decision to register can turn a troubling time into a source of comfort for families as a result of renewed life for others. Please visit HERE for more information on how to become an organ donor in Illinois.

Sen. Mattie Hunter

Senator Mattie Hunter

3rd District
Majority Caucus Chair

Years served:
2003 - Present (Senate)

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Energy and Public Utilities (Vice-Chairperson); Executive; Human Services; Public Health; Subcommittee on Special Issues (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago – 3rd District) has served in the Illinois Senate since 2003. She is Chairperson of the Senate Energy Committee and serves on many other committees like Human Services and Public Health. She is also appointed to serve on the National Conference of State Legislatures Health Committee and is Co-Chair of the Council of State Government Health Policy Task Force.

Associated Representatives:
Sonya M. Harper
Lamont J. Robinson, Jr.