Erie County hopes to become leader in organ donation

In this July 11, 2011 photo, people fill out forms in which they can register as an organ and tissue donor, as they apply for a drivers license at a DMV office. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –  New York State has one of the lowest rates of designated donors in the nation. Despite this, the number of people in Erie County signing up to become a donor is on the rise.

Leaders in local government are teaming up with Uynts, a local organ donor organization. Sarah Diina, Director of Marketing said, “There are so many people waiting. Everyday there is someone added to the list. Right now in Western New York there are more than 800 people waiting for an organ.”

The number of people who are registered is up by 62 percent from two years ago in Erie County. Over the last two years, Erie County Auto Bureaus have signed up nearly 45 thousand people to the state organ donor registry. But, despite this, some people are still afraid to check the box to become a donor.

Diina is calling this a ‘public health crisis. She said, “People are nervous to take that next step. They feel if they check that box, that something is going to happen, which is silly, but a lot of people do feel that way.”

Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs said, “A lot of times, people suffer or lives are lost just because there is not an organ to donate. If there is a donor, there is a solution and a cure.”

If you’re interested in organ donation, you can visit the UNYTS website or for more information on how to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, contact the Erie County Auto Bureau at: 716.858.7450 or visit their website here. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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