You “drive” registrations08/21/2023
IT'S DRIVER LICENSE PARTNERS SAVE LIVES MONTH
August is a month full of celebration over at Donate Life Arizona. We have long recognized the lifesaving efforts of our driver license partners for giving the public an opportunity to register as organ and tissue donors when applying for a driver license or state ID, especially this month for Driver License Partners Save Lives Month! More than 95% of Arizonans currently registered to save lives through organ donation made that generous decision while visiting a motor vehicle services office. To our partners: THANK YOU! You are truly lifesavers.
To demonstrate our gratitude, DNA began sending delicious Fairytale Brownies to the frontline staff of these offices in August 2015. Like clockwork, they knows these tasty treats will arrive on the 8th month every year.
We might have even helped inspire Donate Life America who formally celebrated its first National DMV Appreciation Week in September of 2016. Most organ procurement organizations do, in fact, celebrate their driver license partners each September, but in keeping with Arizona’s maverick spirit, we are sticking with August.
when it becomes real
ADOT MVD Regional Manager Bonnie Palomo’s donation story starts in 2007. A living kidney donor stepped forward to save her father-in-law’s life. Two years later, deeply moved by that selfless act, Palomo underwent testing to see if she was a match for Randi Ruiz, 29, a friend and co-worker who was in renal failure.
Ruiz was with Palomo when the transplant center called in 2009. They were a match and the two women embraced, crying tears of joy over the news.
“I felt relieved and humbled to my core,” Palomo says. “It became real in that moment.”
The two families remain extremely close and participate in the annual NKF Kidney Walk Phoenix with a transplant support team called Recycled Pars.
“Our family has always advocated for donation,” says Palomo. “Interestingly enough, I started with MVD in April, which is Donate Life Month. The heightened awareness of this initiative immediately made me feel at home.”
THE PROOF IS IN THE NUMBERS
Registrations at ADOT MVD locations are measured through a metric called donor designation rate (DDR), which is the amount of people who checked the box in comparison to the total number of credentials issued. Our driver license partners achieved the following numbers in 2023:
71 of our 115 locations increased their DDR by an avg of 11% compared to 2022
36 of those locations achieved at least 40% DDR
10 locations achieved at least 50%
1 location achieved 70%
“I remember falling asleep one night and waking up about two days later finding out I had been medevac’d to Denver,” says Kenny Hanson, a liver recipient. “When I woke up, I was in stage 4 liver failure.”
After her brother received a life saving transplant, his sister and MVD employee, Kari Webb, uncovered a whole new meaning to the question, “Do you want to register as a donor?”.
how you can register
By now, you know you can register at an ADOT MVD or third-party office while applying for your driver’s license or state ID. If you won’t be stopping by one any time soon, register today at DonateLifeAZ.org.