May 24—SOUTH CAROLINA — When South Carolina residents head to the DMV to get a REAL ID they can choose to take part in the new 'Be A Star' campaign and potentially save the life of someone who needs an organ, eye or tissue transplant.
"Right now, when you go into a South Carolina DMV, they ask you to register for your REAL ID and once you do that, you get a star," said Tracy More, CEO and executive director at Donate Life South Carolina. "We are asking people to also register as organ and tissue donors; that way, when you register for both, you are a shining star."
Statistics show that in 30 minutes, three people will be added to the national transplant list, approximately 113,000 people in the United States and more than 1,100 in South Carolina are waiting for a life-saving transplant. Sadly, 22 of those people will die today before receiving a transplant.
"The need is great," said We Are Sharing Hope CEO Dave DeStefano. "We are proud and humbled by the progress we have made, but there is still a lot left to do."
Currently, 54% of people who get a new driver's license in South Carolina sign up for organ donation; that's slightly more than the national average.
We have been fortunate to see this number increase steadily over the last few years," said DeStefano. "We hope through continually educating people about the importance of organ donation through campaigns like 'Be A Star,' we will be able to get 100% of South Carolina as registered donors and save more lives."
A single person's decision to donate can make an enormous difference to both the donor family and the recipient. SCDMV License Examiner, Cynthia Campbell knows that first hand, as she is a transplant recipient herself.
"In December of 2015, I went into kidney failure and was placed on dialysis," Campbell recalls that uncertain time in her life. "In September of 2018, I received a kidney transplant — and now I am free."
Campbell shares her story with everyone she meets who checks the organ donation box at the SCDMV.
As of May 3, 2023, all South Carolina residents must have a REAL ID. Now they can also be a 'shining star' by registering to help others.
"The gift of life is such a precious thing that just by participating in the program, you become a star," said SCDMV Executive Director Kevin Shwedo.
To register your donation decision go to www.DonatelifeSC.org.