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Owen family takes pride in change to organ donation symbol

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By Molly Haines

For Paula and Sara Satterwhite, the new symbol on their driver’s license stands for something more than just being an organ donor – it’s an enduring symbol of a man they love.
The symbol reads “Organ Donor” and is now being printed on the front of driver’s licenses in Kentucky, instead of the small sticker of the past.
When Kentucky’s Circuit Court clerks rolled out the new symbol last week, Owen County Circuit Clerk Margaret Forsee made sure that the mother and daughter were the first to have it printed on their licenses.
Charles Satterwhite, former circuit court clerk judge and husband to Paula and father to Sara, was a member of Kentucky’s Trust for Life board of directors and received help from Trust for Life after receiving a double lung transplant.
A victim of cystic fibrosis during his youth, Charles Satterwhite built a career in law, becoming Kentucky’s youngest circuit court judge ever.
Now people across Kentucky can have a permanent reminder of Satterwhite and the thousands like him who were supported by Trust for Life.
“I know if Charlie were here today, he would be beyond proud of the amazing work Trust For Life has done to increase organ donor awareness and raise donations through the Satterwhite Fund,” Paula Satterwhite said. “Now with the Satterwhite Fund, the registry and the new driver’s license designation, Trust For Life will continue to be a great success.”
In addition to Trust for Life, the Satterwhite Recipient Assistance Fund helps transplant recipients in financial crisis.
The Satterwhite fund covers expenses families do not have the resources to meet or are not covered by medical insurance, Medicare of Medicade.
Funds for the Satterwhite Fund are raised by a number of fundraising activities, including the Owen County Gold Shamble and annual Trust for Life Satterwhite Golf Outing, along with grants and donations from individuals and corporations.
Forsee said the permanent symbol on driver’s license will help show support for those in need of an organ donation.
“For more than 20 years, the circuit clerks of Kentucky have been educating communities about the life-saving mission of organ donation,” Forsee said. “Thousands of kids and adults are waiting for an organ transplant today. Now Kentuckians can proudly show their support for these patients in need.”
The Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks’ Trust for Life was formed in 1992 after the Association of Circuit Court Clerks supported legislation through the Kentucky General Assembly that allowed every person obtaining a Kentucky driver’s license or state ID an opportunity to donate $1 to raise awareness about organ donation in Kentucky.
The $1 donations are put into the Trust for Life.
According to statistics, over 116,000 people in the United States are waiting for a life-saving transplant; over 900 of those people are residents of Kentucky.