Assemblyman Oaks Encourages Organ Donation

April 25, 2018

Assemblyman Bob Oaks (R,C-Macedon) notes that April is National Donate Life Month but you can become an organ donor by joining the National Organ Donation Registry at You may also become a donor by checking the box on your driver’s license or non-driver identification card application or renewal form.

New York has the third highest need for donors but the second lowest donor enrollment. Just 30 percent of the eligible population are organ donors, making New York 51st out of 52 states and territories.

Assemblyman Oaks is joining with other assembly members to encourage more people to become organ donors. “My seatmate Phil Palmesano of Corning is an unrelenting advocate for organ donation and an inspiration to me personally. Phil donated a kidney to his sister a number of years ago and gifted her several years of life,” said Oaks.

“The legislative focus on organ donation is also in memory of our former colleague Jim Conte. Jim was a true advocate and lead the charge to increase organ donation. He passed away in 2012 of T-cell lymphoma but had been an organ recipient and worked passionately to boost enrollment in the donor registry. With Jim’s inspiration in mind, it is our goal to significantly increase the number of people who are organ donors,” the assemblyman said.

The change in the law that now allows 16- and 17-year-olds to be organ donors has inspired many teens to sign up for the registry when they get their driving privileges. But raising awareness of how much it could mean to someone waiting for a transplant could motivate even more people to give the gift of life.

Each person who donates his or her organs (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas and intestines) can save up to eight lives, while a tissue donor (corneas, bone, skin, heart valves, tendons, veins, etc.) can improve 12 or more lives by restoring eyesight, fighting infections in burn patients and preventing the loss of limbs.

“I urge all New Yorkers to join me in becoming an organ donor,” Oaks said. “Saving a life is the best gift one person can give to another.”