GETTING local politicians to agree on anything can be a near impossible task, but when it comes to helping out Wollongong Young Citizen of the Year Jessica Sparks they couldn't say no.
Last week Ms Sparks, 21, a double lung transplant recipient and founder of Sparking Life, which aims to boost low organ donor rates, corralled 13 Illawarra federal, state and local government politicians - Liberal, Labor, Greens and independent, to appear in a photo together in Wollongong to support organ donation following DonateLife week.
The group consisted of NSW MPs Noreen Hay (Wollongong), Gareth Ward (Kiama) and Anna Watson (Shellharbour), federal members Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones (Cunningham and Throsby), Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery and councillors Ann Martin, Michelle Blicavs and George Takacs and Shellharbour councillors Deputy Mayor Paul Rankin, Kellie Marsh and Helen Stewart. Keira MP Ryan Park and Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba also support the campaign but had prior engagements.
All were already organ donors as shown on their driver's licences, but only two were properly registered as donors with Medicare and Ms Sparks quickly got the rest signed up on the Australian Organ Donor Register. Being on the register and having the consent of family is the only way to ensure donation.
The group also signed Sparking Life's pledge cards, agreeing to talk about being a donor with family, friends and the community.
Ms Sparks said it was quite hard to co-ordinate the politicians but worth it.
There are 1600 people on the transplant waiting list.
■ To download a donor form go to Facebook "Sparking Life Australia".