SOS Police promote importance of becoming an organ donor

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SPRINGFIELD,Ill (WAND)- The Secretary of State's Police Department was busy Friday signing up Illinois residents to become organ donors.

In honor of National Organ Donation Day, representatives from the department set up a mobile signing table at White Oaks Mall in Springfield. There are currently 6.2 million Illinoisans on the donor list, however that is only about half of the eligible residents in state.

"It pulls at your heart strings, when you really see how much an organ donor provides to a person and from that moment on it became personal and we as a department said this is something that we have to do to bridge this gap and that's why we're here." said Sydney Roberts, Director of the Secretary of State's Police. 

Organ donation is something that is very important to the Secretary of State's office.

"It came very close to home for us not too long ago one of our employees in our department was in need of a liver and he was able to become a liver recipient and he's here today alive and well." said Roberts. 

Mark Mason needed a new liver in 2015, now two years later, he is using his story to help inspire others to become organ donors. 

"Since I've had the transplant I know what it's like to go through it. Now I try to reach out and educate others to the importance of the organ donor tissue program because there are more people on the list needing transplants."  he said. 

He became living proof what organ donation can do. 

"It gave me a second chance in life so I am able to stand before you today and seeing is believing a lot of time people need to see proof." he said. "That person who may be in need of an organ may one day be your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your son, your daughter, your grandkids, and it's a sad thing seeing them suffering."

Now retired, Mark spends his free time roller skating and raising awareness for organ donation. 

"When you see me today on skates, you are looking at a miracle." he says with a smile. 

For more information about organ donation head to LifeGoesOn.com.

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