Celebrity couple Choi Soo-jong and Ha Hee-ra have agreed to donate their body tissue, the Korea Organization for Sharing Tissue said on Thursday. Having applied to the Korean Organ Donor Program in April last year, the couple now also want to donate their body tissue.
"Choi Soo-jong himself called us after being told about tissue donations in America and applied to register." A KOST spokesman said, "Choi gently declined when we asked him to give an interview, saying that his good intentions might be misunderstood."
Tissue donors agree to donate bone, cartilage, ligaments, skin, retina, heart valves, blood vessels, and other tissue after death. While about 865,000 people have signed up as organ donors in the event of their death, only about 86,000 pledged to donate tissue. Korea thus depends on imports for about 78 percent of tissue demand.
KOST chairman Park Chang-il said, "We can only reduce dependence on imports and readily treat patients who need tissue transplants if more than 20 per 1 million people donate their tissue, but there are no more than three tissue donors per 1 million people."