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Fundraiser aimed at creating awareness, raising funds, while helping people tackle a personal challenge

Donate Life Maryland (DLMD) is set to roll out some new and exciting initiatives this fall to help promote the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation statewide.  The Maryland based nonprofit has some ambitious initiatives planned to get every citizen registered as an organ, eye and tissue donor.    

First Fundraiser

Donate Life Maryland is a nonprofit that is funded by voluntary, monetary contributions made by customers at the MVA.  “We rely upon these donations to keep our organization running but also realize the need to do more – especially in the form of outreach and awareness events,” said Libby Wolfe, Executive Director of DLMD. “We recognize the need for fundraising but at the same time, want to create an awareness event that was special so people would want to be part of it – we think we found the prefect combination with #DoTheLifeThing,” said Wolfe.

Donate Life Maryland partnered with CrowdRise - the world's #1 fundraising site - to offer persons the opportunity to setup their own fundraising challenge or to support someone by donating to their fundraiser - all completely and securely online.  At DoTheLifeThing.org. By recognizing that people often ‘put off’ making end-of-life decisions – such as registering as a donor – Donate Life Maryland also saw this theme continue through to people’s personal lives with personal fears and challenges.  Thus,   #DoTheLifeThing was born. 

“Most of us have something that we are putting off – be it a fear or just something that we know we should be doing in our lives but can’t face it,” said Libby Wolfe.  “For me, it’s getting across the Bay Bridge, I know, it sounds crazy but I just can’t get myself over that thing. I’ve found alternate routes to get me over to the eastern shore but the thought of going over it terrifies me.”  Wolfe has decided to challenge this fear and use it as an awareness event to help raise funds for #DoTheLifeThing.  “I know others have something that’s holding them back too, if we all sign up, take the challenge and support each other – we’ll not only help ourselves over a major hurdle, but we’ll be raising funds and awareness for this amazing cause of organ, eye and tissue donation,” said Wolfe. Persons can either support Libby Wolfe to help get her over the bridge or create their own fundraising challenge. 

“I’m putting myself out there and I plan to document my progress via video – it won’t be pretty but I’m ready to tackle my personal challenge while raising funds and awareness,” said Wolfe. 

DoTheLifeThing.org is now live and runs for 6 months by offering participations 3 months to complete their own personal challenge.  Persons are encouraged to join, donate, help share the word socially - or all of the above at DoTheLifeThing.org. 

Donate Life Maryland (DLMD) is dedicated to saving and healing lives by registering organ, eye and tissue donors throughout the state of Maryland. Donate Life Maryland maintains and manages the official Maryland Donor Registry through a partnership with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and with oversight by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).

A nonprofit organization, dedicated to changing the culture of donation in the State of Maryland, Donate Life Maryland encourages a statewide call to action for residents to be designated donors, facilitates donor designations and upholds an individual’s legal commitment to be a donor.

In addition, Donate Life Maryland works with similar organizations throughout the country in a collaborative effort to improve donor designation rates nationwide. This national collaborative effort is led by Donate Life America. Donate Life Maryland has a reciprocal relationship with its founding organizations, The Medical Eye Bank of Maryland, Washington Regional Transplant Community and The Living Legacy Foundation, to provide comprehensive public education and outreach.

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Nonprofit to enact new legislation and enhance mission across the state

Donate Life Maryland (DLMD) is set to roll out some new and exciting initiatives this fall 2015 to promote the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation statewide. The Maryland-based nonprofit has ambitious strategies supporting their mission to register every Maryland resident as an organ, eye and tissue donor.    

The Enhancing Organ Donation Rates Act

As of 10/1/15, the Enhancing Organ Donation Rates Act goes into effect for Maryland. Aimed at increasing registrants at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) as well as offering information about organ, eye and tissue donation at specific government offices across the state, this law creates new avenues toward increasing donor designations. The Act is twofold:

1. Heart or No Heart - Offering MVA customers interested in becoming a donor, or renewing their donor status, the choice to have the heart symbol noted on their driver’s license/identification card

Currently, and only through September 30, 2015, all Maryland residents who register as a donor at the MVA have a heart symbol printed on their license. The change is in effect as of October 1, 2015. “We have often heard that while persons support organ, eye and tissue donation, they would prefer to not have a symbol notating this decision on their license or ID card,” said Libby Wolfe, executive director of Donate Life Maryland.

The option offered to Maryland residents is the first of its kind for any state. By presenting this choice, DLMD hopes to see an increase in new registrants. “When it comes to registering as a donor, it’s not about what’s on your license or ID, it’s what’s in the Registry that counts.” said Wolfe. “We are excited about what this change can mean for our mission.” She concluded.

2. Government Offices - Reminding Maryland residents who are filing their will or obtaining a marriage license to register as a donor

DLMD has partnered with all Maryland Register of Wills and Court Clerks offices to offer residents filing their will, or obtaining a marriage license, registration information about organ, eye and tissue donation, thus allowing DLMD to access residents at different governmental points of service beyond the walls of the MVA.

“With Maryland having an 8-year license renewal process, we want to remind persons making important life decisions – such as filing their will or obtaining a marriage license – to take a moment to register as a donor and share their decision with loved ones.” said Wolfe. “We are also so thankful for the hard work of our Maryland legislators who helped us enact these initiatives during this past session.”

More than 122,000 Americans are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.  More than 3,635 are on the wait list in Maryland, with kidney being the most needed. To register as an organ, eye and tissue donor go to www.DonateLifeMaryland.org.  

Donate Life Maryland (DLMD) is dedicated to saving and healing lives by registering organ, eye and tissue donors throughout the state of Maryland. Donate Life Maryland maintains and manages the official Maryland Donor Registry through a partnership with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and with oversight by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).

A nonprofit organization, dedicated to changing the culture of donation in the State of Maryland, Donate Life Maryland encourages a statewide call to action for residents to be designated donors, facilitates donor designations and upholds an individual’s legal commitment to be a donor.

In addition, Donate Life Maryland works with similar organizations throughout the country in a collaborative effort to improve donor designation rates nationwide. This national collaborative effort is led by Donate Life America. Donate Life Maryland has a reciprocal relationship with its founding organizations, The Medical Eye Bank of Maryland, Washington Regional Transplant Community and The Living Legacy Foundation, to provide comprehensive public education and outreach.

 

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Donate Life Maryland Celebrates Inaugural Donor Designation Day 

October 6, 2015 is Donor Designation Day, celebrated in Baltimore and other cities nationally including Washington, D.C., and New York City. Research has shown that 95% of people support organ and tissue donation - yet only 56% are registered as donors in Maryland. Donor Designation Day is a day to ensure that EVERY person in the state of Maryland who wishes to save lives through the generous act of organ and tissue donation is designated in the Maryland State Registry. 

It is a day to ensure that every person in the state of Maryland who wishes to save lives through the generous act of organ and tissue donation is designated in the Maryland State Registry. This action only takes a few minutes and can make years of difference for another life down the road.

For more information about Donor Designation Day, please visit www.DonateLifeMaryland.org/DonorDay2015.

More than 122,000 Americans are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.  More than 3,635 are on the wait list in Maryland, with kidney being the most needed. To register as an organ, eye and tissue donor go to www.DonateLifeMaryland.org/register  

Donate Life Maryland (DLMD) is dedicated to saving and healing lives by registering organ, eye and tissue donors throughout the state of Maryland. Donate Life Maryland maintains and manages the official Maryland Donor Registry through a partnership with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and with oversight by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).

A nonprofit organization, dedicated to changing the culture of donation in the State of Maryland, Donate Life Maryland encourages a statewide call to action for residents to be designated donors, facilitates donor designations and upholds an individual’s legal commitment to be a donor.

In addition, Donate Life Maryland works with similar organizations throughout the country in a collaborative effort to improve donor designation rates nationwide. This national collaborative effort is lead by Donate Life America. Donate Life Maryland has a reciprocal relationship with its founding organizations, The Medical Eye Bank of Maryland, Washington Regional Transplant Community and The Living Legacy Foundation, to provide comprehensive public education and outreach.

 

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In recognition of Ma'ake Kemoeatu’s outstanding support of organ, tissue and eye donation, Donate Life America and Donate Life Maryland presented Ma'ake Kemoeatu with a Donate Life Champion award.  This award is being given to select members of the athletic community from across the country who have inspired others to give the gifts of life, sight and mobility.  Other national Donate Life Champions include Michael Jordan, Boomer Esiason, Robin Roberts, Erik Compton, Ikey Woods and Ravens President Dick Cass.
 
Ma’ake was nominated by Donate Life Maryland and unanimously selected by the National Committtee after learning of his living kidney donation to his brother, Chris, formerly with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Since his living kidney donation, Ma’ake and Chris, have appeared on various television programs promoting the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation and sharing their living donation story.   
 
With gratitude for this prestigious award, Ma’ake invites fans, community members and friends to join the Donate Life Maryland Registry in his name at www.DonateLifeMaryland.org and share their support using #FanForLife in their social media efforts.
 
“Donate Life Maryland registers a person’s intent to be a deceased donor,” said Libby Wolfe, Executive Director for Donate Life Maryland. “With the growing need for life-saving transplants exceeding the number of organs available, we truly honor and support deceased and living donors -like Ma’ake - who have made this remarkable decision to help save lives.”
 
Currently, more than 2,580,000 people have already been inspired to join the Donate Life Maryland Registry.  Each fan who joins the Donate Life Maryland Registry as an organ, eye and tissue donor in Ma’ake’s honor is known as a “FanForLife.” 
 
“This weekend, the Ravens play the Steelers and we encourage football fans to show their support for our life-saving cause by tagging their social media with #FanForLifeRavens or #FanForLifeSteelers,” added Libby Wolfe, “No matter who you are cheering for in this weekend’s game, let’s show that football fans are “FansForLife!”
 
More than 115,000 Americans are currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.  More than 3,635 are waiting in Maryland with kidney being the most needed. For more information or to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, visit: www.DonateLifeMaryland.org.

2,458 Marylanders await an organ or tissue donation

(GLEN BURNIE, MD) April 11, 2013 - April is National Donate Life Month and Donate Life Maryland (DLM) and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) are teaming up to generate awareness. Designed to engage interest in organ, eye and tissue donation among Maryland residents, a ceremony, held today, featured testimonials and facts about organ donation. Raising a Donate Life flag on the flagpole in front of the MVA's headquarters on Ritchie Highway, Donate Life Maryland also planted 2,458 smaller flags on the MVA's front lawn to represent all the Marylanders who are waiting for an organ or tissue donation.

"The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is committed to organ donor awareness. Not only are we hoisting the green flag and wearing our Donate Life Maryland t-shirts for the month, we are also working with the Maryland driver education schools to incorporate information about life saving donations in their curriculum," said MVA Administrator John T. Kuo.

The MVA employees are considered "heroes are on the front lines of donor designation," because ninety-eight percent of all designated donors are registered through the MVA. Since 1998, individuals who answered "yes" to the organ donor question during the MVA driver's license or identification card transaction have received a red heart on their driver's license; designating them as organ, eye and tissue donors.

Jennifer Gelman, on behalf of Donate Life Maryland, explained, "It only takes one donor to save the lives of up to 9 people or enhance the lives of up to 50 people, but many people choose not to designate themselves as donors because they don't know enough about donation. Our hope is that, through this awareness program with MVA, more Marylanders will choose to designate when renewing their license or go online to sign up anytime on donatelifemaryland.org."

All of today's speakers wore the new Heroes in Disguise scarves and ties, designed by Anne Lee, a junior pursuing her BFA at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). The whimsical design will be worn by various community partners including Maryland media personnel, local dignitaries, civic and community leaders during Donate Life Month and beyond.

Gene Cassidy, a Baltimore City Police officer injured in the line of duty, spoke of his experience this past year as he waited and then received a much needed liver. During a moving moment for all today, one small flag was removed and given to Cassidy who raised it high in triumph, celebrating his organ donor hero.

During today's event, a respectful moment of quiet remembrance was observed as a show of appreciation to current registered donors as well as the more than 400 organ, eye and tissue donors in Maryland whose generosity helps thousands enjoy a second chance at life.

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