Millions of Marylanders are giving the gift of life. Donate Life Maryland has announced they've reached a milestone with two million people registering to be organ donors.
Sonia Taylor-Sewell knows all too well that organ donation can change lives. She would have lost her eyesight if not for a cornea donation in 1992.
"I'm seeing better because of someone else's death," said Taylor-Sewell. Fifteen years later, organ donation again changed her life. Her 21-year-old nephew, Jordan Brown, was shot and killed. At the hospital Jordan's family was surprised and proud to hear he was an organ donor. "As a result of that, Jordan was able to save lives for about seven people," said Taylor-Sewell.
The organization Donate Life Maryland says the number of lives people can save as a donor is immeasurable. That's why hitting a record of two million Maryland donors is so significant. Donate Life attributes the high number of organ donors to a new way to sign up. Besides having to go to the DMV, people can now register online. They estimate about 2,000 Marylanders will die without an organ transplant. But they say misconceptions keep some people from signing up. One myth is that doctors will choose not to save organ donors' lives. "They're going to take every measure to save your life. It's not until after you've passed away that you're actually eligible to be considered for donation," said Natalie Benavides, Donate Life Maryland.
Sonia tells anyone she meets about the importance of organ donation. She says everyone can live on forever, just like her nephew. "He's still here with us. Although his body is not here, his spirit is here with someone else," said Taylor-Sewell.
Donate Life Maryland hopes to have 2.5 million Marylanders signed up to be organ donors by 2014. To register online or to get more information, click here.