Beshear Touts Growth of Organ Donor Registry

Governor Steve Beshear says he and first lady Jane Beshear are organ donors and he’s urging Kentuckians to join them.

In ceremonies at the State Capitol, Beshear thanked circuit court clerks, who have helped add one million names to the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. 

“All of us have a wonderful opportunity to make a huge difference by deciding to donate our organs and tissue, after we die, to others who need them.  There’s no doubt that science and medicine together can work miracles.  And we can become a part of those miracles,” he said.

Brandi Speck of Lexington says a generous organ donation saved her son Riley’s life.

“When he was 15 months old, just a little baby, he was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy and the only option for him was a heart transplant,” she says. “So, at age 18 months he received his new heart and he’s been doing great ever since. And he’s six and a half now.”

At least 700 Kentuckians are currently waiting for life-saving organ transplants. April is National Donate Life Month. There is no cost to be an organ donor and people of all ages and medical conditions can be considered.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.