ANCHORAGE -

Alaska ranks number one compared to other states when it comes to the percentage of registered drivers who are also registered organ, tissue and cornea donors.

According to Life Alaska Donor Services, there are more than 450,000 registered donors in the state. About 80 percent of registered drivers are also donors.

"I think people are very generous in Alaska … extremely generous with time and with service, particularly, and I think that just translates into being generous with donations as well," said Life Alaska's CEO George McCann.

Life Alaska's commitment is to keep Alaskans' tissue and cornea donations within the state to help other Alaskans, but organ donation is a much different process.

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) maintains a waiting list and matches recipients across the country with available organs. Alaska's geographic location can pose potential challenges when transporting time-sensitive organs. Travel time and the possibility of weather delays present serious obstacles, but it’s rarely serious problem, McCann said.

Nationwide, there are currently more than 120,000 people waiting for organs. That need is rising, said McCann. But the number of donors nationwide is not keeping up with the demand.

"The gap between available organs and organ need is increasing year after year," said McCann.

Alaskans can register to become an organ donor by signing up at the DMV, on the My Alaska system, and by contacting Life Alaska Donor Services.