PERRY COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - More than seven months ago, local pastor James Madden received a kidney transplant from his daughter, drastically improving his quality of life.
"The three and a half years that I spent on dialysis were just terrible, but thanks to my daughter I don't have to do that any more," Madden said.
Since 1992, the Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks' Trust for Life has worked to encourage organ donation registration and raise money for awareness, so that others can benefit from life-saving and life-improving organs and tissues.
Every day, 18 people in the United States die waiting to receive a transplant.
"You hear of a tragedy in the community, the first thing you want to do is go down there and say 'What can I do for you?'," said Perry County Circuit Court Clerk Charles Patterson. "Well this is something that you can do for them."
2013 was a record year for people adding their names to the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry.
More than 42 percent of Kentuckians are registered - a ten percent jump.
Perry county's rates of donor registration usually come in at around 35 percent, but Patterson says he'd like to improve that.
"I get a monthly report that shows where I'm at and where everyone else is. There are several counties in the state who are at 75 to 80 percent, and I think our community can do that," he said.
For pastor Madden, organ donation has become personal.
"You're giving someone the gift of life, and I don't think you can really express the magnitude of that gift," he said.
With about 900 Kentuckians on the organ donor list, Madden says the need is great.
If you would like to add your name to the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry, you can do so at your county circuit court clerk's office, or online at http://donatelifeky.org/