Midwest Transplant Network partners with licensing, treasury and Department of Revenue offices in Kansas and western Missouri to grow the organ, eye and tissue donor registry. We spoke with Lisa Miller, Deputy Treasurer of the Jackson County, Kansas, Treasurer’s Office about why donation is so important to her.
How does your specific office help inform and educate patrons on the importance of joining the donor registry?
We display all of the items that are provided by MTN and also participate in the promotions for National Donate Life Month and National DMV Appreciation Month with a display in our office.
We have in the past had our pictures of our displays in the local newspaper.
Why do you feel your office’s efforts to promote the need for organ, eye and tissue donors are so important?
Our office has a personal connection to organ donation. We have two employees with relatives who are recipients of organ donation and one employee who is a living donor.
Tell us about your connection to organ, eye and tissue donation.
In April 2004, my husband became ill and ended up in the hospital with an infection. After many doctor’s appointments and several years later, he ended up in the hospital and was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. Our belief is that the infection had attacked his heart. His cardiologist referred us to the Saint Luke’s transplant program. After spending the first half of 2014 in and out of the hospital, he was finally added to the transplant waitlist in July. He entered the hospital in October and received his heart in December. Since, he has been able to see two of his children get married and is enjoying his four grandchildren and hunting with his sons.
What is the biggest misconception you hear about donation in your personal and/or professional life?
That the medical professionals will not provide the care needed to save a life if they know that the individual is a donor.
If there is one thing you would want to share with others about the importance of joining the donor registry, what would it be?
It truly is a gift of life.