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Give the gift of life; sign up today for organ donation

Due to strict hospital protocol, organ recipients don't always get to know the names of their donors or meet their families. It's up to the donor's side of the family to make the first move.

"We would love to meet them and just have the chance to thank them," Brock's father said in December.

A Warrensburg family - the Winslows - last week met the man who received the heart of their son, 24-year-old Ryan Winslow, who died in 2006 after a boating accident on Lake George. Their decision to donate Ryan's heart saved the life of Gary Antognioni, a Bennington, Vt. man who had been fighting for his life. We're sure his wife and three children appreciated the gift. The Antognionis recently moved to South Carolina, where the Winslows traveled for their spring break meeting.

Ryan's mom put the donation in perspective:

"It means so much to me that Ryan's heart is still beating."

Ryan's liver and kidneys were also donated to sick people in need.

Organ donation FAQs

Why are organ, eye and tissue donations needed?

There is a severe shortage of organs for life-saving transplants. In addition to those New Yorkers awaiting organ transplants, thousands more benefit from tissue donation such as skin for burn victims or eye donations for sight-restoring cornea transplants. Without these surgeries, they will die or remain disabled. Transplants give people a chance to resume full, productive lives.

Who can become a donor?

Anyone can decide to become a donor. A person's medical history or age does not automatically exclude him or her from being a donor. Do not rule yourself out. Medical professionals will determine your suitability for donation at the time of your death.

Is there any cost to my estate or family for donating my organs, eyes and tissues?

No. There are no costs to your estate or family for you to be a donor.

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