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December 20, 2015

Pennsylvania looking for more organ donors as new year approaches

Officials say lives can be saved by simply signing up

With the new year approaching comes the inevitable New Year's Eve party, the inescapable sloppy kiss, the unavoidable hangover and the routine of making resolutions you know you have no chance of keeping.

Well, you can change one of those things by simply adding a line to your driver's license. Pennsylvania health officials are asking those who aren't already signed up as organ donors to do so in 2016.

According to those in the state in charge of donor programs, 90 percent of Pennsylvanians support organ and tissue donation but only 46 percent put that designation on their state ID.

Advocates for donation also say that while a single donor can save eight lives, more than 8,200 are on the waiting list for such a transplant.

To see the impact of organ donation, you need not look any further than Philadelphia, where a child's life was saved two years ago.

Sarah Murnaghan, then 10-years-old, sparked a national debate as she suffered from cystic fibrosis and needed a double-lung transplant. 

Her family fought the "under-12" rule that prevented their child from receiving priority on an adult lung transplant, and they won. 

Murnaghan, pictured above, celebrated the anniversary of the successful transplant that followed in 2014 by breathing on her own for the first time in years after another procedure. 

Oh, and most of those crazy headlines you've heard about donation aren't true, according to the Mayo Clinic; hospital workers won't work less hard to save your live, most organized religions don't oppose organ donation, and your family members aren't going to get a bill in the mail in the event your donation is used. You can read more on that here.

To find out more on how the process works, DonateLifePA has you covered. You can sign up here.

Also, try and take it easy on your liver at your New Year's Eve celebration.

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