The state is honoring those who gave the gift of life.
Last year, 225 Wisconsinites donated their organs, resulting in over 600 transplants. Governor Jim Doyle says it's important to remember those gifts, which were often made because of a tragedy. Doyle says a sad and difficult moment for families can also include some solace, if the death of a loved one can help save lives.
The families of organ donors were honored in Madison Friday, during a ceremony at the Executive Residence.
Claire Goudeau was among those thankful for their sacrifices. She was the recipient of a donated liver; an experience she says changed her life. The nurse now spreads the word about organ donation, as a way to thank the anonymous donor who saved her life.
UW-Madison transplant doctor Tony D'Alessandro says Wisconsin is helping to lead the nation in organ donations, but it's still not enough. He says nearly 1,500 people in the state each year are waiting for an organ transplant. Of those, nearly 8 percent die while waiting.
D'Alessandro says it's important for everyone to sign up as an organ donor, and to share that wish with their family.