SAN RAMON, CA—
Donor Network West, the organ procurement organization that saves and heals lives through organ and tissue donation in northern California and Nevada, announced that 2,379 people became donors in 2015, the highest number in the organization’s history. These donors have the potential to improve the lives of nearly 100,000 people.
Donor Network West also highlighted that, because of the kindness of the communities that live within its service area of 40 counties, almost half of the organ and tissue donors in 2015 (46 %) signed up to donate on state donor registries. That number was 41 percent in 2014.
“The generosity of the community encourages us to work tirelessly toward a day where everyone donates and those who need a transplant receive one,” says Cindy Siljestrom, CEO of Donor Network West. “Although we are pleased to see this trend, there is still work to be done to provide hope to the more than 10,000 people that are waiting for an organ transplant in northern California and Nevada.”
To pay tribute to those who gave the Gift of Life in 2015 and celebrate the life-saving transplants of those who received, Donor Network West released a video on its website and social media pages. It features Pati Hughes-Fudge, who received a liver in September after waiting for six years, and Ms. Siljestrom, the organization’s CEO, whose son died in April and helped heal others through tissue donation.
Donor Network West continued operations while undergoing significant changes in 2015. To better serve its community and partners, the organization changed its name in the spring from the California Transplant Donor Network, under which it had operated for nearly 30 years. It also moved its headquarters from Oakland, California to San Ramon in the summer and relocated its Fresno office in the fall.
Of the 22,600 people waiting for a life-saving transplant in California and Nevada, 10,600 or 47% wait in Donor Network West’s service area. 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.