Earlier this month, Donate Life America and Apple made it easier than ever to register as an organ, eye and tissue donor on your iPhone with the release of iOS 10, Apple’s latest software update. Now, I usually wait a bit to install software updates because sometimes there are kinks that need to be worked out. But this time, I took a chance and uploaded iOS 10 to my iPhone right away. I then opened the Medical ID tab inside the Health app and registered as a donor on Donate Life America’s National Donate Life Registry. It only took a few taps – it was that easy.
You might be asking, “But, I’m already a registered donor, right?” The answer is, probably! You are registered with Donate Life California if, at any time, you:
- Checked “YES!” on your California DMV driver license or ID application/renewal form.
- Signed up at donateLIFEcalifornia.org.
- Signed up via eRegistration through one of our OPO partners* at a community event in California.
- Filled out and submitted a Donate Life California paper registration form.
So, if you’re already registered, the next question you probably have is, “Do I NEED to register on my iPhone?” Answer: Nope, but you’re proud of the pink “DONOR” dot on your driver license or ID, right? You’ll get the same feeling when you have the heart symbol and “Organ Donor – Donate Life” under your name in your Medical ID tab. If you do register on your iPhone, you’ll be added to the National Donate Life Registry which is checked, along with the Donate Life California Registry, by organ and tissue recovery personnel in California. Another bonus of registering on your iPhone is that your registration travels with you if you move out of state. Rest assured that whether your name appears on the California and/or the national registry, your wishes to be a donor will be carried out.
(Don’t have an iPhone? You can register at any time on any device with internet access at donateLIFEcalifornia.org, or check “YES!” the next time you renew your driver license or ID with the DMV.)
The Apple-Donate Life partnership is another gift of the Steve Jobs legacy. As you know, the Apple founder was a liver recipient. His journey made him realize that more needs to be done to help more people get organ transplants. While he died just two years later, his contributions to the organ donation and transplant community will live on indefinitely. The iPhone update is just his latest mark. Jobs was also instrumental in the creation of Living Donation California, our living kidney donation education and referral program. The photo above shows him at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford in 2010 when then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the authorizing legislation allowing us to develop the service. (Donate Life California board member Tom Mone is also pictured, far left.) I encourage you to check out the Living Donation California website to see if you could be a living kidney donor – you never know, you could start a kidney chain and save many lives!
Stay tuned for our next big announcement – our next Donate Life Rose Parade Float floragraph honoree!
*Donate Life California’s OPO partners are: Donor Network West, Lifesharing, OneLegacy and Sierra Donor Services.
Eric Burch is CEO of Donate Life California, the state’s nonprofit organ, eye and tissue donor registry. His lifelong passion for healthcare began when he worked as an EMT his senior year in high school. With his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science and public administration from San Diego State University, Eric has worked in health-related government relations and public affairs. He’s also served on numerous boards and committees, including his current stint as a member of the Tri-City Healthcare District Governance and Legislative Committee. In his spare time, Eric is an adjunct professor at National University.