Most people are not normally given the chance to save someone else's life, but organ donation provides almost everyone with one last opportunity to do so.
Unfortunately, far fewer New Yorkers have signed up as organ donors than Americans as a whole.
A study from Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield showed 22 percent of New York adults in the donor registry, compared with 48 percent nationally.
The study also said 539 New Yorkers died awaiting a transplant last year while others became too sick and ineligible.
The state is seeking help to boost the number of organ donors. After all, one reason cited for New York's relatively low rate is leaving registration in the hands of the state. Eight of 10 states with the highest signup rates, ranging up to 84 percent, have nonprofits running their registries, according to donation advocates.
New Yorkers can sign up when they renew their driver's licenses or register to vote, or at other times through the Department of Motor Vehicles online.
Currently, 8,667 people are on New York's list for a kidney and 1,352 for a liver. Almost 1,500 of them have been waiting more than five years. Others need a pancreas, heart, lung or intestine.
We hope people will consider becoming organ donors. There is a tremendous need, but there are millions of people who can help solve the problem.