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New Initiative to Increase Organ Donors

Veronica Volk
Ad Council President Todd Butler

The Ad Council of Rochester and the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network have a plan to get more New Yorkers to sign on as organ donors.

Rob Kochik is executive director of the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. He says there are over 122,000 people on the organ waiting list.

"And when I think about them -- each of them woke up this morning, and are wondering if today's going to be the day."

Richard Perez waited 10 months for his liver. He doesn't know anything about his deceased donor, but he has a message for them and their family:

"Thank you. Thank you, and well appreciated, and I would want them to know that I have been following the tradition that they believed in: saving people's lives, and getting them registered to be organ donors."

A new ad campaign designed pro bono by Brand Cool focuses on the anonymous heroes like Perez's donor. Print ads, videos, and social media campaigns target potential donors, with an emphasis on giving recipients a second chance at life.

Only 22% of eligible adults in New York are registered organ donors. The hope is that these initiatives will change that.

Veronica Volk is an editor and producer for WXXI News.