Wilson and Inslee Introduce Floyd D. Spence Organ Coordination Act

Apr 24, 2002
Press Release
Olympic Medalist Chris Klug Joins U.S. Reps. Inslee and Wilson
Today, Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC and Rep. Jay Inslee, D-WA introduced the "Floyd D. Spence Organ Coordination Improvement Act" at an event at the U.S. Capitol. Joining them was Chris Klug, who underwent a liver transplant in 2000 and went on to win a bronze medal for snowboarding in Men's Parallel Giant Slalom in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Other participants in the event included persons on waiting lists for organs, organ transplant recipients, and doctors who specialize in organ transplantation. "It's a privilege to make this the first bill I sponsor, honoring the legacy of my mentor and friend Rep. Floyd Spence. The historic transplant he received was so beneficial to him, his family, and vital to the citizens of South Carolina as he continued his leadership for years afterward. It is time we take this crucial step in making these life-saving donations more available," said Rep. Wilson. The event marks the beginning of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (April 21- April 27). More than 79,000 Americans are currently waiting for organ transplants, and at recent donation rates, only one quarter of will receive a life-saving transplant. The legislation is named after the late U.S. Rep. Floyd D. Spence because he was the longest surviving organ recipient of a double lung transplant. “Today we suffer from a tragic shortage of organs, as many families who suffer the tragic loss of a family member may not fully understand the organ donor process. This makes the tough decisions about organ donation even more difficult. This bill will provide additional money to increase awareness and make the process easier,” said Rep. Wilson Said Rep. Inslee, "Many Americans are willing to make donations once they understand what is at stake-- it is simply a matter of coordinating our efforts. So many lives are hanging in balance as people wait for a transplant, and our measure will help enormously." ###