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Custom license plate spreads message about organ donation

Monday, June 21, 2004

A new, custom license plate will have an impact on organ donation and transplant research, and educational projects promoting organ and tissue donation in New York.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles and the New York Alliance for Donation unveiled a special “Life - Pass It On” license plate June 21 in Albany, says Robyn Kaufman, executive director of the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. FLDRN is a founding member of the Alliance for Donation.

Money raised through fees for the specialty plate will go into the Life - Pass It On Trust Fund, to be used for initiatives and research related to organ donation. It also will promote the organ donor registry campaign throughout the state.

“Today in New York alone, there are more than 8,200 patients who are waiting for transplants,” Kaufman says. “This new license plate gives New Yorkers the opportunity to raise funds that will help to increase awareness about organ donation, as they spread the message about giving the greatest gift possible – the gift of life.”

The initial cost for a standard “Life - Pass It On” plate is $43 plus the regular license plate registration fee. The annual renewal fee is $25, $20 of which will be deposited to the Life - Pass It On Trust Fund. A personalized version of the “Life - Pass It On” plate with a choice of up to six characters, is available for $68, with an annual renewal fee of $50.

Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, which is affiliated with the University of Rochester Medical Center, coordinates organ donation in 19 counties with a population of 2.4 million, and serves 44 hospitals in the Finger Lakes region, central and northern New York, including the University of Rochester Medical Center and SUNY Upstate Medical University transplant centers. Last year the program bested its five-year average in the number of organ donors recovered.

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Karin Christensen

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