By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The countdown is on until fishing opener.

This year when you get your fishing license, you have the opportunity to save a life.

Minnesota has become the first state to allow anglers and hunters to register as an organ donor.

“We think there are a lot of new people who are making this choice now that they are seeing it for the first time on their hunting and fishing licenses,” said Becky Ousley.

Minnesotans are using their love for the outdoors as a way to help thousands who are waiting for the gift of life.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is the first in the country to allow people who register for hunting and fishing licenses online to check a box to be an organ, eye or tissue donor.

“This is something that Minnesotans take very seriously and pass down from generation to generation, this love of fishing and the outdoors and being outside and so is the opportunity to save somebody else’s life through organ, eye and tissue donation. So there are two ways that these traditions of legacy can meet,” Ousley said.

The Minnesota Legislature passed the law during the 2016 session on a bipartisan vote.

The collaboration between LifeSource and the DNR went live March 1, 2017.

“Since March 1 we’ve seen 4,000 people who have gotten their hunting and fishing licenses online check the box to register to be an organ, eye and tissue donor,” Ousley said.

LifeSource communications manager Becky Ousley says nearly all of the 2.5 million adults registered in Minnesota as a donor did so when they bought or renewed their driver’s license.

“So adding a new way for people to register provides so much more opportunity on an annual basis, instead of waiting every four years to get your driver’s license, for people to make this life saving decision,” Ousley said.

Minnesota comes in above the national average when it comes to adults registered as donors.

Lifesource hopes this new way of becoming a donor increases the number of people who want to help because there are 3,000 Minnesotan waiting for a life-saving donation.



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