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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Corey Bryant serves as Director of Communications for The Alliance.
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