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Donate Life California Legislative Action Days 2015

Capitol Steps

Donate Life California Board members, staff and Donate Life Ambassadors with Speaker Toni Atkins on the Capitol steps.

On April 20 and 21, 2015, we held our Legislative Action Days at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Our mission and purpose: to educate California legislators about the need for organ, eye and tissue donation and by sharing our stories, inspire them to help us save and heal more lives in our state. Donate Life California Board members, staff and Donate Life Ambassadors from the state’s four organ procurement organizations (OPOs) met with 39 state legislators. There were many connections to donation and transplantation in our group, including transplant recipients, family of recipients, donor family members, living donors and a transplant candidate. All had the opportunity to talk about their experiences with the legislators, along with these key points:

  • The vast majority, 95%, of our sign-ups come from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), our state-authorized partner.
  • More than 123,000 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list. 22,000 of those live right here in California.
  • Only 39% of Californians are registered organ, eye and tissue donors. The national average is 50.2%.
  • Our legislative history, including:
    • AB 1967 (Perez, 2012) – Ensures that organ and tissue donation is taught in high school health and science classes statewide. Currently, the science education frameworks are being updated to include new items, including organ and tissue donation.
    • AB 2399 (Perez, 2014) – Enables Donate Life California to electronically sign up donors using a driver license or ID card and a mobile scanning device. The program, called eRegistration, is being rolled out soon.

While we aren’t currently sponsoring any legislation, it is still important to educate our legislators, in particular those who are serving for the first time, about our mission to save and heal more lives through organ, eye and tissue donation and to offer them ways to support our efforts. We encouraged our legislators to put a Donate Life California link on their websites to enable their constituents to sign up, and to share our mission through their newsletters, social media and other communications channels.

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 29 presentation on the Assembly Floor. Pictured left to right: (Top Row) Donate Life California Board member Tom Mone, Assemblyman Jim Frazier (AD 11), Donate Life California Board member Prasad Garimella. (Bottom Row) Assemblywoman Young Kim (AD 65), Donate Life California CEO Charlene Zettel, DMV Director Jean Shiomoto, Donate Life California Board President Cindy Siljestrom, Donate Life California Board Treasurer Sharon Ross

In addition to our visits, we were invited to accept a DMV/Donate Life California Month resolution on both the Assembly and Senate Floors. Assemblyman Jim Frazier (AD 11) authored Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 29, which encourages all Californians to sign up with the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry and declared April 20, 2015 as DMV/Donate Life California Day in California. Assemblyman Frazier presented the resolution to the Donate Life California Board of Directors and the DMV, represented by Director Jean Shiomoto.

2015.04.20 Donate Life CA and DMV Floor Recognition

Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 29 presented on the Senate Floor. Pictured left to right: Dr. Richard Pan (SD 6), Donate Life California CEO Charlene Zettel, DMV Director Jean Shiomoto, Senator Sharon Runner (SD 21), Senator Tom Berryhill (SD 8)

 

Senator Sharon Runner (SD 21) presented ACR 29 on the Senate Floor to Donate Life California CEO Charlene Zettel and DMV Director Shiomoto. Senator Runner received a double lung transplant in February 2012. (Watch her presentation here.) Senator Runner is one of two current state senators who have been given the gift of life. Senator Tom Berryhill (SD 8) is a heart transplant recipient. He also spoke during the presentation. (Watch his speech here.) Senator Berryhill is celebrating the 14th anniversary of his transplant on May 10, Mother’s Day.

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DMV Director Jean Shiomoto and Donate Life California Board President Cindy Siljestrom cut the “birthday” cake in celebration of the DMV’s Centennial.

On Monday afternoon, we hosted a Legislative Reception to honor our partnership with the DMV and to celebrate the DMV’s Centennial – A Century of Innovation. During a short program, Donate Life California Board President Cindy Siljestrom presented DMV Director Shiomoto with a “birthday” cake featuring the DMV Centennial logo and a decorative clock to represent the additional time that organ, eye and tissue donors give to recipients and their loved ones. Director Shiomoto promised to continue to work with Donate Life California to improve the donor registration process and to educate DMV employees about their role in saving and healing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation.

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Senator Tom Berryhill shares his heart transplant story.

Senator Berryhill stopped by the reception to share his inspiring story and moved the crowd to tears when he said he’s alive today to watch his daughter grow up thanks to his donor. (Read his Story of Hope here.) A representative from Senator Runner’s office also spoke at the event and shared how her office is promoting organ, eye and tissue donation. The Donate Life logo has been painted on a door and a wall in her district office. And, she and her staff held a Blue & Green Day event and wore blue and green, the Donate Life colors, on Blue & Green Day on Friday, April 17.

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Donor mom and DMV employee Lydia Alcantar shares the story of her son, Edward “Lalo” Alcantar, who became a cornea and tissue donor at age 15. Her niece holds a floral portrait, called a floragraph, of Lalo. The floragraph was featured on the 2015 Donate Life Rose Parade Float in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.

The final speaker was donor mother and DMV employee Lydia Alcantar of Porterville. She shared the story of her son, Edward “Lalo” Alcantar, who became a tissue and cornea donor at age 15. She consented to donation after recalling he had told her, “Why not let someone else see all the beautiful and gorgeous things I’ve seen?” (Read his Story of Hope here.) Lalo’s picture, in the form of a floral portrait called a floragraph, was featured on the 2015 Donate Life Rose Parade Float on New Year’s Day in Pasadena.

Other highlights of our Legislative Action Days include:

  • Group photo with Speaker Toni Atkins on the Capitol steps. (Photo at top of page.)
  • Awards presentation for 2015 Donate Life Visual Arts Contest sponsored by Sierra Donor Services and UC Davis Transplant Program. Special guests included Dr. Richard Perez and Dr. Davis Acosta from UC Davis Health System.
  • Legislative briefing by Assemblyman Jim Frazier in preparation for our visits with the legislators.

Enjoy more photos from our two-day visit here.

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.

New World Record: 12 Million Californians Say “YES!” to Saving Lives as Registered Organ, Eye & Tissue Donors

22,000 Californians still wait for life-saving transplants

SAN DIEGO, Calif., April 7, 2015 – 12 MILLION CALIFORNIANS are registered organ, eye and tissue donors. The new milestone broadens Donate Life California’s footprint as the largest organ, eye and tissue donor registry in the country and the world, and coincides with National Donate Life Month.

“Today, we celebrate and thank each and every one of the 12 million people in our state who have signed up on the Donate Life California Registry,” said Cindy Siljestrom, Donate Life California Board President. “Your registration gives hope to the more than 123,000 people who wait for the gift of life in California and across the country. Sadly, some will die waiting for an organ transplant that doesn’t come in time due to the lack of available organs. Our hope is everyone will choose to be a donor to save lives.”

Despite the vital need, only about 40 percent of adults in California are signed up to be organ, eye and tissue donors, putting California well below the national average of 50 percent.

National Donate Life Month, celebrated each April, highlights the need for life-saving and life-enhancing organ, eye and tissue transplants to inspire more people to become a donor hero and save lives simply by signing up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. In California, that means checking “YES!” while applying for or renewing a California driver license or ID, or going online at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org.

Caleigh Haber of San Francisco is one of the more than 22,000 people in California waiting for the gift of life. She has cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that has led to severe lung disease, which makes breathing for her very difficult. She is on the transplant waiting list for a new set of lungs. But there’s no guarantee she’ll get them.

“The average healthy person inhales about 28,800 times a day without even thinking twice or having to work at it,” says Caleigh. “For me, breathing is a luxury and a full-time job. Every day, I fight to breathe.”

To read more about Caleigh and other Californians touched by organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation, go to www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org/StoriesOfHope.

Each day in the U.S., 21 people die waiting because the organ they needed did not come available in time. Organs needed for transplant are heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, pancreas or intestine.

Tissue transplants, meanwhile, save and heal lives. Tissues for transplant include cornea, skin, heart valves, bone tissue, tendons, veins, ligaments and cartilage. More than a million tissue transplants are done each year, and the surgical need for tissue has been steadily rising. Corneal transplants restore sight to nearly 50,000 people each year.

Fast Facts from Donate Life California:

  • One in five on the national organ transplant waiting list lives in California.
  • More than 28,000 people in the U.S. begin new lives each year thanks to organ transplants (about 79 transplants every day).
  • People of all ages, ethnicities and medical histories can register to be organ, eye and tissue donors.
  • All major religions support or permit organ, eye and tissue donation.
  • The number one priority of medical personnel is to save your life.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is an important Donate Life California partner, with 95 percent of California’s 12 million registered organ, eye and tissue donors having checked “YES!” while applying for or renewing their California driver license or ID.

About Donate Life California:

Donate Life California is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ, eye and tissue donor registry. Individuals can add their name to the registry by checking “YES!” every time they renew/apply for their driver license or ID card at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This ensures their desire to donate life will be carried out. A pink “DONOR” dot is added to their driver license or ID as a symbol of their decision. Individuals can also sign up online at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org. As a public service, the registry ensures all personal information is kept confidential and stored in a secure database, accessible only to authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel at the time of an actual donation opportunity. The registry is administered by Donate Life California and California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organizations (OPOs): Donor Network West, Lifesharing, OneLegacy and Sierra Donor Services.

Contact: Brianne Mundy Page, 858-220-8351, brianne@donateLIFEcalifornia.org

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.

Congrats to the Winning DMV Field Offices in the 2014 Blue & Green Day Contests!

SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 2, 2014 – Congratulations to the winning California Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) field offices that participated in this year’s Blue & Green Day regional contests, held on Friday, April 11. Thanks for showing your spirit for organ, eye and tissue donation throughout the year, and especially during Donate Life Month in April. We appreciate your partnership in helping to register 11 million donors in California. We love our DMVs!

Central/Northern California

Greater Los Angeles Area

Best Decorated – San Bernardino DMV

Most Creative – Palmdale DMV:

Most Spirited – Santa Ana DMV:

San Diego/Imperial Counties

El Cajon DMV:

Poway DMV:

 

 

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.

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