SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is making his annual plea for organ donors before he leaves office at the end of the year.
White is reminding residents to sign the back of their drivers’ licenses.
The number of Illinoisians who have signed up to donate their organs in the event of death has jumped from 4 million to 7 million since White took office 24 years ago.
This year, organ recipient Phillip Hanks spoke up about the need for organ donors.
“Without the transplant, my wife would not have a husband. My kids wouldn’t have a father and my new granddaughter would not have a grandfather. I would not have been able to see my daughter graduate this upcoming, end of April, coming up and I wouldn’t be able to see my 13-year-old walk across the stage in May. Thanks to a decision that a complete stranger made, Secretary White, his office and staff, and all of the doctors and nurses that worked so hard, my life goes on and I have a second chance,” Hanks said.
Each year, about 300 people die waiting for a transplant.