Boone DMV leads NC in registering organ donors
by Anna Oakes
The local DMV office was recently recognized for achieving the highest organ donor designation rate for its district and the entire state for 2011 — an honor the office received for the second year in a row.
The organization Donate Life North Carolina awarded a trophy and plaque to the Boone office for signing up 69.6 percent of its customers as organ and eye donors in 2011. The average state signup rate last year was 52.8 percent, the organization said.
Donate Life NC recognizes the driver license offices in each of the 14 DMV districts in North Carolina for achieving the highest and most improved donor designation rates in their respective geographic regions. More than 114,000 people across the country and 3,500 people in the state are waiting for a much-needed organ, the organization said.
“We developed this program in 2010 to acknowledge and honor the efforts of DMV personnel who serve as integral members of our donation and transplantation teams,” said Sharon Hirsch, executive director of Donate Life NC, in a statement. “We hope the awards program highlights their efforts and creates more opportunities for people to make the decision to donate.”
Craig Lyons, senior examiner at the Boone DMV office, said the people of the area are to thank for his office's high rate of organ donor registrations.
“We just ask the customers; that's our job,” Lyons said. “They seem like they want to help out. It's nothing that we do — it's the people in this area that are doing it. They're making us look good.
“It's a good area that we live in that people want to do that,” he said.
Lyons said common misconceptions and questions about becoming an organ donor are related to cost (there is none), family involvement and “‘Are they going to wait until I'm dead before they take them?'”
To become an organ donor, register at your local DMV office or visit DonateLifeNC.org.