New PSA From Secretary of State Asks For New Organ & Tissue Donor Sign-ups

By Benjamin Cox on July 10, 2020 at 5:39am

Nikki Smith hugs Tanisha Basham in the new PSA from Basham was the recipient of Smith's daughter's heart because she was an organ donor.

Secretary of State Jesse White has put out his annual call for new members to the state’s organ and tissue donor program. A new public service announcement features the life of Tanisha Basham who received a donor heart from her best friend’s daughter Nikki Smith, after Smith unexpectedly died. Smith’s mother Vicki Walker made the decision to help her friend to have a second chance at life.

Currently,there are more than 6.9million people registered to become organ/tissue donors in Illinois and approximately 4,000 people are on the waiting list. About 300 die each year in Illinois waiting for an organ transplant.

White says that organ and tissue donation can change multiple people’s lives with just one person’s decision to sign up: “We spend a lot of time at this time of year asking individuals to sign up to become a part of the organ & tissue donor program. We ask them to consider that 1 person can provide life or improve the quality of life for 25 individuals. We want every person here in the State of Illinois to seriously consider signing up to become a member of the program.”

Illinoisans can register with the Secretary of State’s Organ/Tissue Donor Registry at or by calling 800-210-2106.