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Life Connections Of Ohio Reports Rise In Organ Donations

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Life Connection of Ohio
Life Connection of Ohio volunteers proudly display their connections to donation at the Rockets for Life game, an annual event with the University of Toledo’s men’s basketball team that promotes the life-saving message of organ, eye and tissue donation.

Dayton’s regional organ donation program says organ donations are up significantly in 2020.

In the western part of the state, Life Connection of Ohio is the non-profit organization that procures organs from donors who have died and gets them to those who need them.

Kara Steele, director of community services, says while much of the healthcare focus lately has been on the coronavirus, the need for their services hasn’t diminished.

“That waiting list does not stop in the midst of a pandemic. You know, there's a lot of work that needs to be done," she says.

There are more than 3100 people on the organ donation waiting list here in Ohio. But Steele says they are actually seeing an increase in donors this year.

“Donations in the first six months of 2020, in comparison to the first six months of 2019, has actually increased by about 48 percent for our organization.”

From January through June of this year 59 donors provided 180 organs. Steele says more people have been joining the donor registration list in recent years -- and that helps a lot.

Life Connection says they are one of four organizations supporting the Ohio Donor Registry program. Lifebanc covers northeast Ohio; LifeCenter covers southwest Ohio; and Lifeline covers central/southeast Ohio.

About 60% of people in Ohio are registered organ donors. Individuals can register when renewing their Ohio driver's license, online, or using the mail in form provided at

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.