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Clerk's office launches organ donor heart program

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Beginning Wednesday, residents can add a symbol that stands for hope and generosity to their driver's licenses.

Like Indiana, Ohio, and several other states, Kentuckians will have the option to have an organ donor heart printed on their license.

"For more than 20 years, the circuit clerks of Kentucky have been educating communities about the life-saving mission of organ donation. Thousands of kids and adults are waiting for an organ transplant today. Now, Kentuckians can proudly show their support for these patients in need," Taylor Circuit Court Clerk Rodney Burress said.

When renewing a license, deputy clerks will ask all Kentuckians if they would like to register as an organ donor. Everyone who says yes will have the option to have a small blue heart with the words "Organ Donor" printed on his or her license. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has worked with the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks and the Trust for Life associations to get the symbol added to licenses and identification cards.

"This is an important advancement in Kentucky. The organ donor heart will emphasize that it's not about signing the back of your license anymore. It's about saying 'yes' and joining the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry," Shelley Snyder, executive director of the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks' Trust of Life organization, said.

Each day, 18 patients die waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Every 10 minutes, a new name is added to the waiting list. Only 35 percent of Kentuckians are registered organ donors.

"Everyone who comes into my office for a driver's license or ID can add his or her name to the confidential registry and receive the organ donor heart. Every heart we print gives hope to patients and families in need," Burress said.

All Kentucky residents can join the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry at the circuit clerk's office or online at www.donatelifeky.org.