WXXI AM News

Family of infant organ donor urge New Yorkers to register

Oct 10, 2018

Fifty people registered as organ donors in the first two hours of an enrollment drive this week at St. John Fisher College.

It is just one event scheduled on Wednesday in a statewide effort to boost the number of New Yorkers on the registry.  New York ranks last among the 50 states in the percentage of adults ( 32 % )who are registered.

Members of St. John Fisher's men's lacrosse team are encouraging people to sign up. Organ donation is an issue close to the heart of their head coach, Dave Dobbins.

Dobbins' 5-month old daughter, Colleen, died unexpectedly in 2011. He and his wife, Erin, donated Colleen's organs.

"Her heart saved a little boy up in Canada and her liver, pancreas, and small bowel saved a little girl on the west coast,” Dobbins said. “We're so proud of her for doing that and she's absolutely our hero. We miss her every single day, but that's the one positive that we were able to bring out of it."

Dobbins said before his daughter's death, he was ambivalent about organ donation. He says people need to be educated about what donation means.

"Legally, doctors are not allowed to know whether a patient is an organ donor or not while they're treating them, so your treatment's not going to be any different. It's supported by every major religion. It won't change your funeral services from open casket or whatever that may be. I mean, there really is absolutely no reason not to be an organ donor."

Donors can also register on line at http://www.donorrecovery.org/