Living Donation California Celebrates 100 Direct Living Kidney Donor Candidate Referrals to California Transplant Centers

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–100 people in California hoping to altruistically save someone’s life
have successfully utilized
– a free, online information and referral service designed to refer
eligible living kidney donation candidates to California transplant

Donate Life California, the state organ, eye and tissue donor registry,
launched the Living Donation California program on May 14, 2013. Since
then, thousands of people have visited the website to educate themselves
about living kidney donation, why it’s needed, and how one person can
save a life or many lives by donating one of their two kidneys. Hundreds
more visitors then took a self-assessment to determine their eligibility
to be living kidney donors, and 100 people who met the minimal
requirements were directly referred to one of 13 California transplant
centers for further evaluation.

“The willingness to undergo surgery and give a piece of oneself to save
another’s life is truly selfless and heroic,” said Charlene Zettel, CEO
of Donate Life California. “Today, nearly 19,000 people in California
are waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant. Their wait for a kidney
from a deceased donor could be up to ten years or more. One in three
will die waiting. Living donation gives those on the waiting list
greater hope.”

Lorena Rodriguez of San Diego cares for people in kidney failure and
sees the toll kidney disease takes on their lives and loved ones. One
day, she decided she could do more to help.

“I wanted to free someone so they could live life and spend that time
with their family and friends,” says Lorena Rodriguez. “After my
donation, I met my recipient, Monique McCray, who can now watch her
daughter grow up. I am happy I could give that gift to her.”

Lorena didn’t save just one life, she saved multiple lives because her
donation started a chain of kidney transplants. Kidney transplant chains
link pairs of incompatible donors and recipients who are compatible with
each other, allowing for better donor-recipient matches. (Read more here.)

In 2014 in California:

  • 2,039 people received kidney transplants:
    – 1,444 were from
    deceased donors.
    – 595 were from living donors.
  • 721 people died waiting for a kidney transplant.
  • 521 were removed from the waiting list because they were too sick to

(Source: Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, U.S. Department of
Health & Human Services)

History of Living Donation California
In 2009, during his
battle with pancreatic cancer, Apple founder Steve Jobs received a liver
transplant. But, during that process he grew frustrated over the
shortage of organs in the United States. In cooperation with
then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donate
Life California
, The Altruistic Living Donor Registry Act of 2010
(SB 1395, Alquist) was signed into law, authorizing the state’s organ
procurement organizations (OPOs) to establish a service designed to
“promote and assist live kidney donations.” Living Donation California
is that service.

About Living Donation California
Living Donation California
is a free information and referral service that encourages California
residents to be altruistic kidney donors, provides accurate information
about living donation, and refers potentially eligible individuals for
evaluation at a transplant center.

Living Donation California is administered by Donate Life California,
which manages the state-authorized organ and tissue deceased donor
registry. Donate Life California’s Board of Directors is composed of
eight representatives of the state’s four non-profit, federally
designated organ procurement organizations (OPOs): Donor
Network West
, Lifesharing,
and Sierra
Donor Services
. In addition, Living Donation California is supported
by a Board of Advisors which includes participating California kidney
transplant programs.


Donate Life California
Brianne Mundy Page
(o) 619-563-5137 (m)