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Donate Life California

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Organ & Tissue Banks

Mission: Donate Life California saves lives by creating opportunities for all Californians to sign up on the official state organ, eye and tissue donor registry.

Results: As of July 2016, 13,248,477 Californians have signed up on the state organ, eye and tissue donor registry. We are the largest state registry in the U.S., and have the greatest need with more than 21,000 people waiting for life-saving organ transplants. On average, three people die in California each day because the organ transplant they need doesn't come in time.

Target demographics: 21,000+ Californians waiting for life-saving organ transplants, and the thousands more waiting for life-enhancing eye and tissue transplants

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands of people receive life-saving and life-enhancing organ, eye and tissue transplants each year

Geographic areas served: California

Programs: #GivingTuesday (http://bit.ly/I5xOr9), high school education, registration drives, fundraising events, DMV training & education, public outreach, hospital volunteer education, Living Donation California (www.LivingDonationCalifornia.org)

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Tammy139

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Many years ago my husband died and I was not asked about donating. If feel that I would of gotten some relief in knowing he helped others. Soon after that, I became involved in organ and tissue donation and then transplant. I believe that everyone has the right to make the decision and this organization helps to give the information needed to do this. Thank you for all you do!

Comments ( 1 )

Donate Life California Thank you for your comment and being involved in our mission to save lives. Currently, 22,000 Californians are on the national organ transplant waiting list. Our work to grow the Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry is critical if we are to save more lives. For the latest news, information and resources, please visit our website at donateLIFEcalifornia.org. Donate Life California Staff

4 Shayla R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

They come just short of telling grieving families a bold face lie. My uncle just passed unexpectedly. They went to his son and told him that they were taking his corneas, some skin and his leg bones. My cousin asked three times if a viewing could be done. They said yes, but what they don't say is that in order to do a viewing the funeral home has to do a lot of work to put the body back together enough to hold the embalming fluid. Then there is still the concern with leaks. I'm not telling families not to donate, but families need all the facts to be able to make the decision. Also the cost of the funeral goes way up. So if the decision is made to donate at least the families will know all of what will happen. All that I am asking for is for these people to be completely honest and give families all the facts instead of sugar coating it and then the families find out later. My cousin was already grieving and then to find out the truth later caused him to completely break.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My great grandson (almost 4-years old) is alive today because he had a heart transplant in 2010.
His first 6 months of life were spent in hospitals connected to machines to keep him alive.
Please, please remember to sign up to be a donor.
I am convinced that God has a special place in heaven for donors and donor families.

Our sweet, beautiful, blond hair, blue eyed boy charms everyone who meets him.
He loves life and loves people. His smile is the high light of my days! He is active and on the move all the time. He will show his chest and explain that he got a new heart from his angel.
God bless his donor family!

2 Ricki A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a transplant recipient, and not only does donate life bring awareness to those who do not know about organ donation, but it also gives hope to those waiting for a transplant.

4 JePahl W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Donate Life California has had a powerful and continuing impact on my life. I am a two time kidney recipient and I am grateful for the knowledge, expertise, and passion exhibited by this organization. The entire process of receiving the Gift of Life is an amazing and humbling experience. Donate Life California has made this possible for many others like me.

3 Deanna11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My 17 year old son registered as an organ donor when he got his drivers license at age 16. Little did anyone realize he would die a year and a half later and save 5 lives, give sight to 2 and help numerous others though tissue donation.

When we sat in the hospital our family searched for a "lesson" to be learned to be shared and something to make sense of the senseless. We then realized that the fact that SCOTT had made the decision to donate himself was the lesson. The lesson we share everywhere we go! We have never met Scott's recipients but we have adopted lots of them along our journey.

To see a life saved despite a tragedy is the greatest gift EVERY! DLC does great work!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Donate Life California saves and improves lives through organ and tissue donation. Besides what happens in the hospitals they do a great job raising awareness across the state of California for the Donate Life registry. With their great work in the community they are saving the lives of thousands!

3 Lupe R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I became associated with Donate Life because of my husbands' passing. Shortly before he died, I found his reciept from DMV of his registration to be a organ donor. I asked him about his choice and inquired as to what he would like donated. We had never discussed this in the past. I've seen his Driver's License before but overlooked the pink dot. My discovery was about 2 weeks before his collapse. I understood the gravity of his medical condition in the hospital, I immediately told the nurse of my husbands wishes. I was informed that the hospital already knew and so did the organ donor orgainization. He stated they wanted to respect the family and would approch me when it was appropriate. He stated they did not approach the family until my husbands condition was confirmed. He further stated that he would note the I knew of my husbands choice. One Legacy is the organization that services our area for Donate Life. When they did approch me they were kind, gently and understanding. They anserwed all of my questions, they helped me it explain it to my younger children. My husband, David was their step father but they called him dad and loved him so much. The coordinators at the hospital watched over me and made sure I was ok and that at all steps I was not alone. My husband is the love of my life, he is my best friend, I had no one who could understand and be by my side that could comprehend my loss. Carlos from One Legacy was the person who made contact and guided me through the process. He would let me talk about my husband and he was so kind and understanding. Since my husbands passing we continue to use the after care services offered to all families. We go to the monthly family support meetiings. My children participate with other kids who have been through the same thing. My son is of special needs, he has the inocence of a child but is 16 years old, they have him in a group where he flouishes and can share his thoughts and love for Dad. I cannot speak their praises enough. I thank them for all they have done to help us and to honor his memory. I cannot speak their praises enough, your site will not allow me to type anymore. Thank you.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization facilitates a new life for those who are dying of organ failure. It also helps those families of loved ones who are approaching death to better understand how the dying can help bring life to those in need of a life saving organ. It also helps families in their community begin to talk about death and their final wishes before a possible tragic event. One might say that it brings death to to table, opens the door to the inevitable, and might even encourage us all to lead a more fruitful life.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

They do a great job supporting and encouraging organ donation. Their services support the donor families, the recipients, and the recipient families.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I just moved to California. When I was applying for my new driver's license I knew I wanted to check the box to donate. I found out that I had to register with Donate Life California. I went online & got lost on their site. They make the registering easy. The stories online are incredible. They really help get the word out with real life examples...donating organs is really giving life to someone.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Donate Life is an amazing group and one whose members are the most generous, kind and compassionate people. I became aware of this organization when my son became sick in 2010 and needed a kidney transplant. After 7 months of dialysis, I was able to donate a kidney to him and he is now living a normal life and able to do all the things he loves to do without any restrictions. Donate Life has allowed me to educate and inspire my community about the importance of organ and tissue donation. They provide the training and materials and they make my volunteer time fun and rewarding. Donate Life has given me an opportunity to share my story and hopefully inspire others to register as organ and tissue donors....donation saves lives!

1 Rita18

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband would not be alive today were it not for Donate Life California. As an only child, he has now outlived his widowed mom. We have since learned so much more about the process of organ & tissue donation that we are now able to speak intelligently about the subject. The myths persist, preventing many from registering when, if they knew the facts, would register as donors. It's more than a shame that lives are still lost due to misinformation. We have learned one is never too old, too sick, too frail, too many long time health issues, etc. to be a registered donor. Corneas never age, even some blind people could give the gift of sight! From babies to elderly, people from all walks of life, all nationalities, all sizes and shapes, rich and poor are on the wait list for life saving organs. Most people on the wait list did nothing to cause their organ failure!

1 Alma W.

Donor

Rating: 5

My story starts back in the year 2000. My niece was diagnosed with double renal failure at the age of 13, as was her father at that same age. My sister(her mother) donated to her as Dad could not since his only kidneywas transplanted. Well when my nephew was 13, he too was diagnosed with the same kidney disease. With no parent to give him a kidney, I stepped in to see if I would be a match, and I was! That was wonderful news to us!! We went ahead withthe transplant in 2003. 10 years later now, mynephew isdoing wonderful, thriving and is able to have hope for his future! People need to be aware of the need to be an organ donor. There are still so many people inneed! It is tragic when there is a death in someones life, but to be able to give life thru donation of organs or tissue can be amazing to so many!! I am now 10 years older and am also doing wonderful feeling fulfilled and needed and more so a part of my nephews life now!! Unfortunately my niece is in need of a second kidneynow. Her transplanted kidney has failed her is she has beenon dialysis for 2 yearsnow. She spends 4 out of her 7 days a week at dialysis 3 hours each day she goes!! This is hard on people like her who depend on a machine to sustain their life. With the help of Donate Life California, we need to educate others, starting with our teens about the importance of checking that box and recieving that pink dot on their driver lisence. We need to educateothers so my niece can have a fighting chance at getting off that long donorlist. Lets enlarge that registry list and make the wait shorter for people in need like my beutiful niece! You too can be the deciding factor of saving 1 to 50 lives thru organ and tissue donation.

1 Lora2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

being a donor is a very special way to save a life.

1 Colleen22

Donor

Rating: 5

*I was not a donor but I am from the donor side of the family*
My husband Ed Schanz died at the young age of 54 years old on September 30th, 2012 of SHA,(subarachnoid hemorrhage) to many who don’t know what that is it’s a Aneurysm. He was declared brain dead on 9-29-2012, my family & I knew it would only be right to allow others to live through him. So we all decided as a family to donate his organs. To date this is what we know:
**A 67 year old man in WA has my husband’s heart, a 34 year old woman has his pancreas, 26 year old man from Utah received his liver and two men in CA received his kidneys if you don’t think that one man’s death can’t save many lives then think again. Just give it a minute and that minute can turn into years of saving a lives like my wonderful husband, father to three, grandfather to three. Thank you for your consideration.

2 Robin46

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Michael was born with complete heart block, we were told that there was only 1 in 1000 chance of it turning into something worse. Unfortunatly for him he drew the short straw and his Junior year of high scholl he went for his annual physical for track and we were told they wanted to run more tests. We were told on his 17th birthday he had conjestive heart failure. He would do well with medication, we were also told he wouldn't need a transplant because he was doing so well. Maybe in 10 years or so. 6 years later he went to the emergency room with breathing difficulties then off to CCU. He was then transferred to L.A. and from there 3 months later to Cedars to await a heart. As critical as he was everyone kept us fully informed and when things became difficult for me at work (I have Lupus too)they helped not only my son but me as well through some major emotional rollar coaster rides. Donate Life was key in helping us know exactly what was happening and what to expect. I can truely say that if not for the volunteers with this program Not only my son would need medical care but mee as well, They knew what we needed and when.

2 justmonicac

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Although I do not have an immediate tie to a donor or recipient, I have seen both sides. As a healthcare provider (respiratory therapist) I have seen the tremendous care that this organization provides. I have to say I was uneducated and had misconceptions about organ donation until my experiences with donors, recipients and Donate Life.

2 Daniel J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Organ and tissue donors are needed everyday. This is an important cause, and requires your participation and support. Please help save lives, by showing your support.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was devastated when my fiancee died waiting for a liver transplant; I went to a few different groups and just never felt like I was with people who "got it". When I started volunteering through Donate Life California, I finally started to feel like I had control back. I was surrounded by loving people who knew what I was going through and I felt like I was truly honoring Matt by sharing our story and encouraging others to register as donors. Even though I lost the most important person in my life, my family has become enormous! And I know these are all people who "get it" and will support me (and Matt) through any good times and bad to come.