WXXI AM News

Record year for Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network

Jan 17, 2019

The Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network coordinated over 300 organ donations and life-saving transplants in 2018, up 35 percent from the year before and the most in the organization's 32 year history.

Executive Director Rob Kochik says these gifts have given 276 people a second chance.

``While we're pleased with our success, our work is never done, and with those individuals that are waking up this morning and wondering if today's the day they're going to get the phone call that an organ is available,” he said.

Credit donorrecovery.org

Kochik says there are many reasons for the increase, including a media awareness campaign, a community impact campaign, improvements to the state's Donate Life Registry, and a rise in the number of people who previously documented their wish to be an organ donor.

``The transplants that we coordinate are to give the gift of life to the patients who are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant, a liver transplant, a pancreas transplant, heart transplant or lung transplant.  And as we know, sometimes patients need more than one of those organs," he said.

Most of the recipients have been waiting for a kidney, liver or heart transplant at Strong Memorial Hospital or Upstate Medial University Hospital in Syracuse.

Kochik says those people are no longer on a waiting list because of the generosity of donors and donor families.

For more information on joining the New York State organ donor registry, go to donorrecovery.org. or passlifeon.org.