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Organ donors increase in California

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - There has been a recent hike in people registering as organ donors in California.

Reports show that the increase just might be linked to AB 60, the new law helping undocumented residents obtain driver's licenses. More than 60,000 people have been added to the California organ and tissue donor registry, bringing it up 29 percent from the same time last year.

Lori Malkin is the founder of JJ's Legacy, a local nonprofit group aimed at educating the community about the importance of becoming an organ donor.

"If you are registered donor, you can save and heal lives through organ, eye, and tissue donations," said Malkin.

She launched JJ's Legacy in honor of her son, Jeffery Johns.

"I am a donor mother. My son was killed in an automobile accident and died from a head injury," said Malkin. "He had the opportunity to donate all of his organs and his corneas and tissue. He enhanced and saved eight lives through organ donation, and he also enhanced and saved 58 lives through tissue and cornea donation."

Now, more people are getting on board and marking "yes" to question No. 6 on the DMV driver's license form.

"It's a mandatory question now, and it's a mandatory answer," said Malkin.

Malkin was pleased to hear about the recent increase in donors.

"We feel that it's directly linked to the AB 60 law," said Malkin. "We've tracked it through the California DMV registration from Jan. 1 to March 9, and it's up 29 percent."

She said more people are becoming educated about what it means and deciding to mark "yes."

"It's very important, because there's over 120,000 people right now waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant," said Malkin. "It makes you feel honored to know that whatever we're doing within our cause through Donate Life California and our educational purposes, it's working, and we feel really good about that."

If you're not registered as a donor and would like to be, go to to register.
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