After lowered age requirement, Illinois teens register as organ donors

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Thousands of Illinois teenagers have signed up to be organ and tissue donors in the first months of a new law which permits 16- and 17-year-olds to consent to donate.

Jacob Lenzini, a 17-year-old senior in Park Ridge, Ill., lost his father in 2014 from a brain tumor. He later met the man who’s alive because of his father’s donated lungs.

“It fills you with a sense of honor and servitude and just a feeling of being human,” Lenzini said.

Kicking off National Donate Life Month, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White launched a campaign to highlight the new law which went into effect January 1. Since the law went into effect, 11,500 teens have registered.

The law means 16- and 17-year-olds can give consent to donate their organs, but for donors below the age of 18, procurement organizations must contact a parent or guardian for approval to donate.

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About the Author:

Corey brings more than ten years of experience in corporate and non-profit fields, having worked in Communications for The Walt Disney Company and most recently, Public Relations for OurLegacy (formerly TransLife), the OPO serving Central Florida. He has also been an active board member of Donate Life Florida, serving as state team leader for the Driver License Outreach taskforce. Corey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Information Sciences from The University of Alabama. In his spare time, he is an avid music and theater enthusiast, enjoys traveling, Crimson Tide Football and serving on the board for several local charities in the Orlando area.
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