April 2, 2014
Southland Observes National Donate Life Month with Over 50 Regional Events Promoting Organ, Eye and Tissue Donation
April Highlights Include National Blue & Green Day (April 11) and 12th Annual Donate Life Run/Walk in Fullerton (April 26)
April's National Donate Life Month will be observed throughout all seven Southland counties with over 50 events ranging from flag raisings and educational programs to the largest run/walk of its kind in the country. Organized by the staff, volunteers and community partners of OneLegacy, the non-profit, federally designated organ, eye and tissue recovery organization serving the greater Los Angeles area, the events will inspire all Californians to support life-saving and healing organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation. Participants in Donate Life Month observances include more than 50 hospitals and transplant centers, six counties, over 70 cities, and thousands of individuals dedicated to supporting the program.
"We’ve always had great participation from our community, but this year the participation has increased to new levels. We hope that this broad interest is a reflection of our work throughout the year to inspire everyone to become organ, eye and tissue donors," stated Tom Mone, chief executive officer of OneLegacy. "We are grateful to our many hospital partners and supportive public officials that are joining with us to celebrate the remarkable life-saving results of donation."
Throughout the month, local observances of the Donate Life Flags Across America initiative will see thousands of flags being raised as symbols of unity and hope, with 15 flying at Southland hospitals.
Donate Life's trademark colors will be commonplace at transplant centers, hospitals, DMV field offices and in social media on Blue & Green Day, April 11.
Capping the month is the 12th annual Donate Life Run/Walk and Family Festival at Cal State Fullerton on Sat., April 26. Nearly 13,000 people organized into over 200 donor family teams, 33 hospital teams, and dozens of other groups and organizations are expected to participate in the largest event of its kind in the country. The Donate Life Run/Walk was inspired by the living donor (Kathleen Hostert) and recipient (her husband Craig) of a transplanted kidney; one year ago Craig received a second kidney from his son Justin. A committee of 70 volunteers has committed their time and energy year after year to honor donor families, thank living donors, celebrate the renewed health of transplant recipients, and give hope to patients in need of transplants.
Throughout the month, Donate Life Ambassadors and Embajadores de Done Vida – trained English- and Spanish-speaking volunteers who have been touched by donation and transplantation – will receive proclamations from six counties – Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura – and over 70 cities. Each proclamation of "DMV/Donate Life California Month" affirms the California Department of Motor Vehicles' role in the enrollment of 95 percent of the state's 11 million designated donors on the state donor registry. These volunteers will also share their stories at educational booths at various Southland hospitals.
OneLegacy is the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the seven-county greater Los Angeles area. With more than 200 hospitals, 10 transplant centers and a diverse population of nearly 20 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world. For more information, call OneLegacy at (800) 786-4077 or visit www.onelegacy.org.