Nearly 41,000 residents joined the state's donor organ registry last month, an increase of 89% from Feb. 2011 and further evidence that Michigan is improving the odds for those in need of transplants, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced yesterday.

Through the first two months of 2012, more then 82,000 people registered as donors in Michigan. That puts the state ahead of 2011's pace by 77%. Nearly 400,000 residents - a record number - joined the registry last year.

Registrations have surged since May, when Johnson put a policy in effect requiring Secretary of State branch office employees, as time permits, to ask customers at the counter if they would like to join the state's donor registry. The department has also strengthened its partnerships with donation advocates and taken other steps to promote registration, including placing reminders on printed and online forms for customers.

"With every day we are given, we have the opportunity to give of ourselves, help others and advance the common good," said Johnson. "By choosing to donate life, we can make a difference in the most profound way possible."

Almost 3,000 people in Michigan are waiting for an organ transplant. Nationwide, there are more then 113,000. There are currently more then 2.5 million people in the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.

Bob Hoag of Delta Township near Lansing received a lung transplant at the University of Michigan Transplant Center 2008. "Without my lung transplant, I wouldn't have been to meet my youngest grandson or watch my other grandchildren grow," Hoag said. "What Ruth Johnson and her staff have accomplished is amazing, and their work will undoubtedly save lives."

For more information about organ donation and Secretary of State office locations and services, visit