Fresno

ABC’s of your Health: Are you an organ donor?

According to Donate Life California, in 2018, 1,668 people in the state gave the gift of life through organ donation.
According to Donate Life California, in 2018, 1,668 people in the state gave the gift of life through organ donation. mortizbriones@vidaenelvalle.com

Are you someone’s hero? Are you an organ donor?

April is also National Donate Life Month and specifically April 12 was Blue & Green Day, a day where people can show their support of organ, eye, and tissue donation by wearing the Donate Life color – Blue and Green.

Throughout the nation, on April 12, people were asked to wear blue and green, Donate Life colors, in celebration of those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.

According to Donate Life California, in 2018, 1,668 people in the state gave the gift of life through organ donation.

Fresno and Tulare county had some events this month to bring awareness to organ donation in the area.

In Visalia, Kaweah Delta partnered with Donor Network West on April 12 to increase the number of registered organ and tissue donors in Tulare County by hosting an event at its Medical Center to educate the community about organ, eye and tissue donation and provide information about how to register as a donor.

“Organ, eye, and tissue donation is possible because of life-transforming decisions made by donors and their families. But we could not carry out those wishes without Kaweah Medical Center’s unwavering support,” said Jason Bailey, regional director of Donor Network West, Kaweah Delta’s partner in organ and tissue recovery.

Donor Network West is the federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization for Central and Northern California and Northern Nevada.

And according to them the need is urgent.

California ranks first among all states with approximately 22,000 people on the organ transplant waiting list, 420 of those people live in Tulare County. Of those on the transplant list in California, 84 percent are in need of a life-saving kidney. On average, three people die waiting each day in California.

One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and a tissue donor can heal more than 75 others.

And last year, it was a record year for the number of people who saved lives through their gift of donation at Kaweah Delta with 12 donors saving 48 lives via organ transplants, according to Laura Florez-McCusker, Director of Media Relations with Kaweah Delta

In Fresno, on April 12, Fresno State lighted up the iconic Shehadey Tower at the Save Mart Center in blue and green in observance of National Donate Life Month.

The tower will display the Donate Life Colors through April 30 to highlight the life-saving impact of organ donation.

“While Fresno State’s colors are usually red and blue, thousands who wait for a life-saving organ transplant are thankful for 18 days of blue and green highlighting their great need. This lighting is a ray of hope,” said Bailey.

Nearly 1,000 people are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in Fresno County.

Anyone can register to become a donor at donornetworkwest.org or at their local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Donor Network West is holding local events and activities to promote donation and the importance of registering as a donor.

To celebrate National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, Donate Life California hosted a tweet chat on April 12 with the hashtag #ChatwithDonateLifeCA for people to share their stories about why organ donation matter to them, as well as hear and answer questions.

For information, visit DonorNetworkWest.org and follow us on social media: @mydnwest

María G. Ortiz-Briones: 559-441-6782, @TuValleTuSalud

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