LAYTON -- The first "Cruising for Donors" car show in support of organ donations will be tonight at The Burger Stop restaurant. The event begins at 6 p.m. at 323 E. Gentile St. and is free to the public.
The family-owned restaurant is teaming up with "Yes" Utah! to promote organ donation and to encourage people to sign up, on-site, on the organ donor registry, said Dixie Madsen, public education coordinator for Intermountain Donor Services.
Roughly 1.2 million Utahns, or 70 percent of all licensed drivers in the state, are registered organ donors, Madsen said.
Utah is a great state when it comes to people willing to be organ donors, Madsen said, "but we're still looking for that other 30 percent to make that decision."
In the United States, almost 107,952 people are waiting for an organ transplant, Madsen said. More than 75 percent of those, or about 85,000 people, are waiting for a kidney, she said.
Restaurant owner Mark Theobald, a recipient of a living kidney donation three years ago, has been holding car shows at the Layton restaurant for 17 years.
Theobald spent two years on dialysis before receiving an unexpected kidney donation from his sister Nancy, who lives in Houston.
"I unexpectedly got sick about (six) years ago and learned I was in kidney failure," Theobald said.
"That is the last thing I would have expected to happen to me."
Through the organ donation, Theobald has since been able to recover, going back to his active lifestyle.
In addition to the restaurant and the car shows held there, the Theobald family helps coordinate with Layton city each December to provide hayrides through the Christmas lights display in Layton Commons Park.
To learn more about organ donation or about living kidney donation, visit www.yesutah.org.