The push is on for Illinoisans who haven’t done so to sign up as organ donors.More than 5 million Illinoisans are registered, but more are needed, says Jerry Anderson head of the Gift of Hope organ and tissue donor network.

“During the month of April, we seek to draw special attention to the generosity of organ and tissue donors and their caring families. We also use this time to educate the public about donation, and the importance of joining Illinois’ organ and tissue donor registry,” he said at a presentation at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago.

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If someone dies and untimely death, his or her healthy organs can be harvested and donated to others. 5,000 people in Illinois are on an organ waiting list, and about 300 die waiting each year. About 80 percent are waiting for a kidney.

The campaign for organ donors also involves a radio ad campaign, starring Vikki Tulcus, 42, of Westmont. She worked for Gift of Hope and now works for the secretary of state’s office, promoting organ donation. She was diagnosed in 2009 with Wegener’s Syndrome, and now herself needs a kidney donation. She undergoes 10 hours daily of at-home dialysis to survive. A match that he body will accept has not been found.

 (Copyright WBGZ Radio/