Press Release from Donor Network West
(San Ramon, CA) March 2, 2016 —
Donor Network West, the organ procurement organization that heals lives through donation in northern California and Nevada, has launched Dear Donor, a new video series that features individuals and families affected by organ, eye and tissue donation.
The first episode of the series features the families of Matthew Ouimet (5) of Antioch, CA and Brandon Burnett (22) of Sacramento. Matthew was only two when his kidneys began to fail. He needed a kidney and a liver transplant to survive. His life was saved by Brandon, who died in a car accident in 2013 and had registered as a donor. Brandon served in the U.S. Army and was planning to attend college at the time of his death.
Kristi Ouimet and Maggie Kolb, the mothers of Matthew and Brandon respectively, were special guests at Donor Network West’s semiannual staff meeting in Pleasanton today. Together, they paid tribute to Brandon and celebrated Matthew’s second chance at life as they officially introduced the video series. They were joined by Matthew as well as by Ashley Burnett-Hazlett, Brandon’s sister and Kelly Ouimet, Matthew’s father.
It brings me so much joy to know that Brandon was able to help Matthew; it tempers a lot of the sadness and gives his death a meaning.
Donor Network West, which serves more than 13 million people in 40 counties, is planning to release three more videos in 2016 as part of Dear Donor.
“This project was born out of our desire to tell inspiring stories that will move people in the communities that we serve to talk about donation with their loved ones and to register as organ, eye and tissue donors,” said Cindy Siljestrom, CEO of Donor Network West.
There are 10,600 people waiting for an organ transplant in northern California and Nevada. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and a tissue donor can heal more than 50 others. Anyone can register as a donor at DonorNetworkWest.org or at the DMV.
About Donor Network West
Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation. The organization was established in 1987, and is an official Donate Life organization accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Federally designated to serve 40 counties in northern California and Nevada, Donor Network West partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registries. For information, visit www.DonorNetworkWest.org, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.