BLACKFOOT, Idaho - Bingham County commissioners read a proclamation Wednesday, declaring April as National Donation Life Month.
Paula Hulse, widow of former Blackfoot City Councilman Butch Hulse, and Miss Treasure Valley Megan Moore spoke about their personal connection to donation, reminding the community of its importance.
Hulse's husband was awaiting a lung transplant when he died in 2012.
"It was hard watching him go down day by day. We never got on the list and were halfway through testing before I lost him," she said. "Please say yes on your driver's license, please don't say no."
Moore was told that she would have seven years left with her brother, who was suffering from a liver disease. She received a call one early morning telling her that he died, six years earlier than doctors predicted.
"I was like, 'What? I just talked to him yesterday.' We had plans for the next week and all this kind of stuff. It was just so unexpected," she said.
Experts said less than 24 percent of those waiting for transplants last year actually received one. They said this year, over 121,000 people are on the waiting list nationwide. People can alleviate this need just by checking the "yes, I would like to be an organ donor" box when renewing their driver's license, but many fail to do that because of personal misconceptions.
"The biggest myth out there is 'if I have yes on my driver's license and I'm rushed to the hospital for a medical emergency, will they do everything they can to save me? Or will they basically push me into a corner and let me die?'" said Public Education and Public Relations Director for Intermountain Donors Alex McDonald.
For more information on organ donations and a chance to register, go to http://donatelife.net/