Statewide Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry
Reaches 1,000,000 Registration Goal in First Six Months with DMV
Press Conference to Take Place at Capitol Jan. 24, 10:00 a.m.
Organ Donation Up 11% Statewide for 2006
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 22, 2007 – There is very good news in 2007 for the 20,000 people in need of life-saving transplants in California. More than 1,000,000 Californians have signed up to become organ and/or tissue donors on the state’s Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry. The large upswell in registrations – which more than tripled in a six-month period – is due predominantly to the ability of Californians to sign up as donors at the same time they apply for or renew driver licenses or I.D. cards at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) through a program that began July 1, 2006.
“As a result of our partnership with the DMV, we have been able to reach Californians that we knew were interested in participating but did not have Internet access to what had been an online-only registry,” stated Tracy Bryan, president of Donate Life California, the non-profit organization created in 2004 to administer the donor registry. “This is only our first victory, however. Our next goal is to see 15 million Californians signed up to donate life by July 1, 2011, when all Californians will have had the opportunity to donate life through the five-year driver’s license renewal cycle. We know we can do it, because the people of California have shown they want to save lives.”
According to George Valverde, director of the DMV, "We are so proud that this partnership is truly making a difference and saving lives. Through our involvement in this effort, we've also come to know how the lives of employees in our own DMV family have been touched by organ donation. Some have donated organs to loved ones, received transplants themselves or are still in need of life-saving donations. We’re excited about this partnership on their behalf … and on behalf of all those who find themselves in need.”
The achievement of 1,000,000 registered, potential donors will be marked by a press conference at the State Capitol, Room 1190, on Wed., Jan. 24 at 10:00 a.m. Participants at the conference will include Director Valverde and Assemblyman John J. Benoit (Riverside), who lost a family member who had been waiting for transplants. Assemblyman Tom Berryhill (Modesto), who received a life-saving heart transplant, will also be present, along with other noted legislators, transplant recipients and donor family members.
Tragically, one-third of the more than 94,000 Americans currently waiting for life-saving organ transplants could die due to a shortage of donors. But Californians are changing that. Anyone who checks “Yes!” when applying for or renewing a driver license or I.D. card will be registered with the state-authorized Donate Life California Registry as a donor, with the potential to save eight lives as an organ donor and improve up to 50 others as a tissue donor.
The number of actual organ donors continued to grow statewide as the four organ recovery agencies in the state together recorded 894 donors in 2006, up 11% from record 2005 levels, resulting in more than 2,600 lives saved. In addition, tissue donation increased significantly.
The state’s organ recovery agencies attribute the steady growth to a combination of factors, including the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services “Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative” program focusing on hospitals’ support of donation, comprehensive public education programs that reach California’s diverse communities, and the registry.
Donate Life California is a nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organizations, each responsible for facilitating the donation process in the state: California Transplant Donor Network, 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.
For more information about the Donate Life California Registry, the process, and how donation saves and improves lives, visit http://www.dmv.ca.gov/about/donateLife/donateLife.htm, www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or in Spanish at www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org.
Courtesy of OneLegacy