Lauren Shields of Stony Point isn’t a little girl anymore. When she was only 8-years-old Shields received a heart transplant and by the time she was 11, she was spearheading a movement to expand organ donations in New York by requiring driver’s license applicants in state to fill out the organ donor registry [yes or no], rather than lazily leave it blank.
Now at age 17, a high school senior, Shields is lobbying to make the law named in her honor, permanent. The original Lauren’s Law passed in 2012, but had a five-year sunset and will expire at the end of October if new legislation is not signed.
Senator David Carlucci, one of Lauren Law’s most ardent advocates, called on Governor Cuomo to sign the permanent extension to Lauren’s Law, which passed both houses of the state Legislature in May. Carlucci credits Lauren’s Law as sparking growth in New York’s organ donation registry, which he says is the fourth fastest donation registry in the United States.
“Since Lauren’s Law was passed back in 2012 it has started to make a big difference unfortunately that legislation expires and we have an opportunity right now where legislation is in front of Governor Cuomo to make Lauren’s law permanent,” Carlucci said. “We want to make sure that we do everything we can to see that legislation signed into law so we can continue to do everything possible to save peoples lives.”
Lauren Shields said, “My life was saved by an angel and I couldn’t be more grateful and thankful to be here today to speak with you guys on how important this cause is. Senator Carlucci and I have worked so hard in spreading the word and raising awareness of organ donation and this law has shown to increase numbers and I think we should really push to keep it permanent in New York so we can continue saving lives.”