Maryland is lagging behind 22 states in organ donor registration rates. Now, a non-profit partnership is trying to change that. Joan Barber lives in Cheverly, and knows firsthand the value of being a registered donor. Her pancreas and one of her kidneys came from an 18-year old donor. "This young man lost his life. But I really feel as if he gave life to me. It's almost like passin' a torch to me." Barber carries that torch as a she volunteers with the Washington Regional Transplant Community.
Lori Brigham runs the WRTC. She says lack of awareness is a big part of the reason donor rates are low in Maryland. "It's not something we think about routinely - our death. And then there are always some of the little misconceptions out there, that somehow if I sign up to be an organ and tissue donor, they're not going to save my life."
The transplant agency is working with Donate Life Maryland, heading to schools, churches and community events, hoping to register half a million new organ donors in Maryland in the next five years.
Stephanie Kaye reports...