By Ryan Harding
ADOT Office of Public Information
When you apply for a driver license or identification card, registering to become an organ donor is as simple as checking a box. For years, the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division
and the Donor Network of Arizona
have worked closely to educate people about organ and tissue donation and make it easy for people to register
One young man who registered as an organ and tissue donor through the MVD was Michael Choppi. Michael passed away in January 2011 at the age of 24, and his kidneys and liver went on to save three lives. Michael was also a tissue donor, helping dozens of others live a quality life.
“It’s a sense of peace to know that night, there were people out there and families that benefited,” said Kim Choppi, Michael’s mother. “It’s nice to know that my son was able to provide the gift of life to someone.”
Michael made the decision to be an organ donor at the age of 14. When he was old enough to apply for a driver license, he didn’t have to think about checking the box on his application to become an organ donor.
“In our case, my son had the [foresight] to look into the future and if something happened to him, how could he help someone else,” said Mike Choppi, Michael’s father. “That’s the kind of kid Michael was.”
In 2003, only eight percent of Arizona adults were registered as organ donors. Right around that time, the MVD and Donor Network of Arizona began actively working together to promote organ donation and today, more than 50 percent of Arizona adults are organ donors.
“Organ donation is one of the most moving and impactful gifts you can give someone,” said Eric Jorgensen, director of the Motor Vehicle Division. “We are proud to partner with a great organization like Donor Network of Arizona to spread the word about the importance of organ and tissue donation and facilitate public participation.”
Ninety-five percent of organ donors have registered through the MVD.
“ADOT MVD Saves Lives Month gives Donor Network of Arizona a chance to thank the MVD staff on behalf of the community for their work in helping to spread the word about the importance of signing up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, and for giving Arizonans the opportunity to register whenever they complete a driver license or ID application,” said Sara Pace Jones, vice president of Development and Referral Services for Donor Network of Arizona.
“Every time a person checks the box to save and heal lives, they are giving voice to generosity in our community. We rely on our partnership with this incredible government agency to make the most of life through the gift of organ and tissue donation,” Jones continued.
For more information on organ donation, visit Donor Network of Arizona at dnaz.org
“Registering at the MVD takes the decision making out of a family’s hands who now has one less thing to worry about,” said Mike. “It’s so easy. There’s no excuse not to do it.”