Latest News

Nine Million Californians Say ‘Yes!’ to Organ & Tissue Donation; Celebrations to Occur Statewide During National Donate Life Month

More than 56,000 Lives Saved or Healed by Registry Donors in 2011

Sacramento, Calif., Apr. 5, 2012 – At the outset of National Donate Life Month, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Donate Life California (DLC) announced today that more than nine million Californians have registered as organ and tissue donors through the state’s Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry, the largest in the country. The continuing influx of new signups on the registry is due primarily to donation education and the convenience of signing up as donors at the DMV. As of July 1, 2011, it became mandatory for all Californians to check one of two boxes on their driver license or I.D. card renewal to indicate their commitment to donation.

“We each have the power to make a difference in the lives of fellow Californians by registering as organ and tissue donors online or through the DMV,” stated Lisa Stocks, president of Donate Life California, the non-profit organization created in 2004 to administer the state-authorized donor registry along with the state’s four organ recovery agencies. “Registering as a donor helps ensure that your wishes are followed after you’re gone. Being able to honor a loved one’s wishes is much easier for a family than trying to guess what someone would have wanted.”

Since the registry was introduced in April 2005, donors who had registered prior to death have saved or healed more than 100,000 lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. In the past year alone, one third of California organ and tissue donors were registered and saved or healed more than 56,000 people. In so doing, they give hope to the nearly 22,000 Californians who are waiting today for life-saving organ transplants.

According to DMV Director George Valverde, “We at the DMV are once again extremely proud to be part of this great effort to continue increasing the number of potential organ and tissue donors. Each milestone that is reached reminds us of the life-saving importance of our partnership with Donate Life California.”

The new registry milestone kicks off many celebrations throughout the state in honor of National Donate Life Month. Flag-raising events at area hospitals are starting this week. In the Bay Area, nearly 600 donor families will gather at the Alameda County Fairgrounds on April 14 where their loved ones’ gifts of life will be honored by the Donor Network West . This will be the first of three ceremonies occurring this spring to remember those who provided lifesaving and life-enhancing organs and tissues. In Los Angeles, OneLegacy is coordinating a special “Done Vida” event at the Mexican Consulate on April 20, while the largest Donate Life Run/Walk in the country returns for its 10th anniversary on April 28. In Sacramento, Sierra Donor Services and heart recipient Coralia Salazar will celebrate the one-year anniversary of her transplant at Sutter Memorial Hospital on April 9, while on April 25 the city of Truckee and its mayor will celebrate its high rate of donor designations (the highest in the state in the last quarter of 2011) with kidney recipient Valen Keefer, who is also one of the “12 Women of 2012” who are inspiring people across the U.S. to become organ and tissue donors.
The shortage of organs is not due simply to a lack of giving, but rather to the rarity with which the opportunity to donate organs presents itself. Less than one percent of deaths qualify for organ donation. That’s why every single opportunity to donate counts.

Two young men who had signed up on the registry became donors this year and saved many lives through their gifts. Sidney “Scott” Santana of Diamond Springs was only 17 when a head-on collision sent him to the hospital on May 17, 2011. His parents knew he would not survive.

“A few years prior, a good friend was in a car accident,” recalled his mother, Deanna Santana. “We had a big discussion as a family then, and we agreed that we all wanted to be organ donors. However, we didn’t remember this when we were at the hospital until Sierra Donor Services told us that Scott had already checked ‘Yes’ when he received his driver license. Knowing this gave us 100 percent confirmation that this is what he wanted, and it gave us the strength to get through the process.”

In Oakland, Charles Hiawatha Butler, Jr. was nearly 24 and on track to become a merchant marine when he was ruthlessly murdered on December 22, 2011. His older sister, Valerie Butler, said the family was unaware that Charles had registered to be an organ donor when he was 18. They were able to direct the donation of his liver to Daniel Murphy of Antioch, a family friend.

“I had told him you have to do something back – that you can’t take things for granted,” she said. Now he has given back the most precious gift of life. He was so selfless, and we’re so proud of him. I know wherever he is now, he’s looking down and saying, ‘Big Sis, I gave something back.’”

The Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry which records the decision to donate in a secure, confidential database that is searched by authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel at the time of an actual donation opportunity. It is administered by Donate Life California and California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ recovery organizations: Donor Network West , Sierra Donor Services, Lifesharing and OneLegacy. As a state-authorized public service, the registry assures that all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel.

High concentration of Azithromycin in infected tissues is also caused by the fact that phagocytes and macrophages transport it to the site of infection and release in the area of inflammation. Azithromycin is prescribed in case of illness or injury at the time.

Donate Life California Appoints Charlene Zettel CEO

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 28, 2011 –Donate Life California (DLC), which oversees California’s organ and tissue donor registry, announced today the appointment of Charlene Zettel as the organization’s inaugural chief executive officer, effective Oct. 3, 2011. Zettel served in the California State Assembly from 1998 until 2002 and currently serves on the Board of Regents of the University of California.

“We are excited to welcome Charlene to Donate Life California as our first CEO,” said Lisa Stocks, president of Donate Life California, the non-profit organization created in 2004 to administer the state-authorized donor registry. “As we enter the next phase in our organization’s evolution, it is critical that we effect the kind of strategic outreach that is achievable with the help of a distinguished professional like Charlene.”

Stocks went on to add, “Charlene’s career encompasses not only an impressive record in executive leadership and administration of government, healthcare agencies and private sector businesses, but also years of service with various government and non-profit boards. We believe that Charlene’s passion for our mission and energy are paramount to Donate Life California’s growth as an organization.”

With more than 8.5 million Californians registered as organ and tissue donors through the state’s Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry, California, with its high population, currently has more registered donors than any other state. Since the registry was introduced in April 2005, registered donors have saved more than 1,300 lives through organ donation, thereby bringing hope to the more than 21,000 Californians who are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. California donors have also helped more than 75,000 people through cornea and tissue donation.

“I look forward to being part of the exceptional team at Donate Life California,” Zettel commented upon accepting the new leadership position. “Although California has more registered donors than any other state, when offered the opportunity to register as donors a relatively low percentage of Californians choose to do so. Of the 26 million licensed drivers and ID holders, only 30 percent have signed up to be organ and tissue donors.”
Zettel went on to say, “Encouraging Californians to sign up as organ and tissue donors is a critical issue for me, given that more than 20 percent of those on national transplant waiting lists are in California.”
Zettel’s career in public service began in 1992 when she was elected to the Poway Unified School District Board of Education. After serving in that office for six years, Zettel was encouraged by her constituents to seek higher office. In 1998, Zettel became the first Republican Latina elected to the state legislature.
Among her responsibilities in the Assembly, Zettel served as chairwoman of the Republican Caucus, vice chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy, and as a member of the Appropriations, Education, Health, Rules, Arts, Entertainment, Tourism & Internet Media, Transportation and Governmental Organization committees among others. Zettel was also appointed to the Select Committee on California – Mexico Affairs as well as the National Federation of Women Legislators, where she worked on the “Shoulder to Shoulder” Campaign to combat “club drugs”.

While a member of the Legislature, Charlene worked with senior citizen advocates, district attorneys and law enforcement to champion laws protecting senior citizens from abuse. She also sought to protect children with the introduction and passage of “Oliver’s Law,” which provided parents with critical information about licensed day care providers, and AB 1789, which increased penalties for child abusers.

In addition to elected state service, Charlene has served as the director of the San Diego Office of Governor Schwarzenegger, a public interest director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs as well as a board member of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross and a board member of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.
Raised in Los Angeles, Zettel earned a BS degree in dental hygiene from the University of Southern California, School of Dentistry. She and her husband, David, reside in Encinitas, Calif. They have been married 41 years and have two adult sons, Brent and Jeffrey.

Donate Life California administers the nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry with the support of California’s four nonprofit, federally-designated organ recovery agencies: Donor Network West , Golden State Donor Services, Lifesharing and OneLegacy. As a state-authorized public service, the registry assures that all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel.

High concentration of Azithromycin in infected tissues is also caused by the fact that phagocytes and macrophages transport it to the site of infection and release in the area of inflammation. Azithromycin is prescribed in case of illness or injury at the time.

Lifesaving 5th Anniversary Celebrated

94% of all CA donor registrations since 2006 are a direct result of the DMV and Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry partnership

Sacramento, Calif., July 26, 2011 – This month the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and Donate Life California (DLC) are celebrating a five-year partnership, which has resulted in more than eight and a half million Californians registering as organ and tissue donors through the state’s Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry. California has more registered donors than any other state, which is in large part due to public education about the importance of organ and tissue donation. In addition, the DMV provides Californians the convenience to sign up as donors at the same time that they apply for or renew driver licenses or I.D. cards at the DMV, which results in nearly 7,000 DMV customers a day checking ‘Yes’ on their DMV forms to register as organ and tissue donors.

In 2008, Donate Life California implemented the Adopt-a-DMV program to increase communication between DLC and DMV employees. The goal of the program was to ensure that DMV employees understood the importance of their role in saving lives and were also able to have their questions about donation answered in an accurate and timely manner. Donate Life Ambassadors, volunteers who are typically organ/tissue recipients or donor family members, visit their respective adopted DMVs quarterly. The Adopt-a-DMV program’s success has been seen in the increased number of Californians signing-up as organ and tissue donors.

“Only one in five DMV customers was saying ‘Yes’ to donation in 2006, while today we see nearly one in three registering their decision to give the gift of life,” said Lisa Stocks, president of Donate Life California, the non-profit organization created in 2004 to administer the state-authorized donor registry. “DMV field offices are the single most important avenue to increasing the number of people that register as donors, because it is where Californians are first asked to consider becoming a donor as a part of their application process.”
Stocks went on to say, “That’s why we are so excited that on July 1, 2011, driver license application forms changed to include two check boxes specific to organ donation to further clarify the applicant’s intent: (A) Yes, add my name to the donor registry, or (B), I do not wish to register at this time. This change ensures that every time a DMV customer fills out their DMV form they will have to take a moment to think about organ and tissue donation, which we believe will lead to an increase in registered donors.”

Of the 26 million licensed drivers and ID holders, only 30 percent have signed up to be organ and tissue donors, which means that 70 percent of California drivers have not yet made the decision to designate themselves as donors.

If the number of people saying ‘Yes’ to register as donors increased by just one percent, that would mean that 85,000 additional Californians would be added to the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry.
Since the registry was introduced in April 2005, registered donors have saved more than 1,300 lives through organ donation, thereby bringing hope to the more than 21,000 Californians who are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. California donors have also helped more than 75,000 people through cornea and tissue donation.
“Our partnership with Donate Life California has made a difference in thousands of lives, and, within our own DMV family,” said George Valverde, director of the DMV. “We have seen the lives of our own employees personally touched by organ donation – some have donated organs to loved ones, received transplants themselves or are still in need of life-saving donations.”

Every time Californians check ‘Yes’ to register as donors when they apply for or renew their driver license or identification card, they are potentially saving lives. DLC thanks the millions of Californians who have made the decision and commitment to donate by signing-up on the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry.
Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry which records the decision to donate in a secure, confidential database that is searched by authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel at the time of an actual donation opportunity. It is administered by Donate Life California and California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ recovery organizations: Donor Network West , Golden State Donor Services, Lifesharing and OneLegacy. As a state-authorized public service, the registry assures that all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel.

High concentration of Azithromycin in infected tissues is also caused by the fact that phagocytes and macrophages transport it to the site of infection and release in the area of inflammation. Azithromycin is prescribed in case of illness or injury at the time.

Switch to our mobile site