SOSPresserSPRINGFIELD – In an effort to raise awareness of the ongoing need for organ and tissue donation, State Senator Christopher Belt joined Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias in a press conference about the topic on Thursday.

“As an organ donor recipient, I know firsthand how critical one’s life may be in if they are on the transplant list waiting for the news an organ has become available to them,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “It doesn’t matter your gender, age, race or any other factors. What matters is the fact you can save many lives by being a donor, and I will always urge everyone to add their name to the list.”

Currently, more than 7.5 million Illinoisans are registered with Illinois' Organ and Tissue Donor Registry with more than 2,000 transplants taking place each year. Yet, approximately 4,000 people remain on the transplant waiting list, and about 300 die waiting for a transplant every year.

“We are working diligently to spread the word about organ and tissue donation and to add to the Illinois Organ Donor Registry,” said Giannoulias. “We come to work every day and focus on issues that are important, but there are few things that are as important as this. We have the opportunity to save lives, save families, so anything and everything we can do to raise awareness, we will continue to do.”

To become a donor, Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State's Organ and Tissue Donor Registry by visiting, calling 800-210-2106 or signing up at the DMV.