Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

600 lives saved by organ donations in 2017

MAPLE BLUFF – Governor Scott Walker and First Lady Tonette Walker today hosted 357 family members representing 85 organ donors at the Executive Residence for the 26th annual Gift of Life Medal Ceremony. The ceremony honors citizens or the family member of citizens who generously gave the gift of life through organ, tissue, or eye donations.

“234 Wisconsinites gave the gift of life through organ donations last year, and more than 600 lives were saved because of their decisions to become organ donors,” Governor Walker said. “Wisconsin’s families are among the most generous in the nation as more than 90 percent of our families support life through organ donations. That’s remarkable and worth recognizing. Tonette and I are proud to honor so many courageous families here today.”

First held in 1993, the ceremony honors the families of organ donors in the previous year from across Wisconsin. It is coordinated and funded by the University of Wisconsin Organ and Tissue Donation and the Wisconsin Donor Network.

“It’s an honor to celebrate the gift of life with these incredible families,” said Mrs. Walker. “I hope all Wisconsinites will consider the importance of organ donation and discuss it with their loved ones.”

The Gift of Life Medal ceremony demonstrates Wisconsin’s support for organ donation by acknowledging and thanking the families of those who, in their passing, have given life to others through organ donation.

3 million Wisconsinites have registered as organ donors either at the DMV, or online at Each of these donors has the ability to save the lives of eight people. With 2,000 Wisconsinites and 112,000 Americans waiting for organ donation, it makes these donors all the more important.

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