PALMDALE – Palmdale Regional Medical Center will be promoting organ donation next month by flying a “Donate Life” flag in honor of organ, eye and tissue donors.
The flag display is part of a national effort to bolster organ and tissue donor registries in April, which is National Donate Life Month.
“Organ and tissue donation can save and improve lives right here in our community, throughout the state of California and across the nation,” stated Julie Montague, Director of Marketing. “Palmdale Regional wants to help drive that point home with this symbolic flag.”
Staff members at Palmdale Regional Medical Center will be raising the Donate Life flag at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 4, to motivate residents to consider the benefits of organ donation and to encourage them to join the California Organ Donor Registry. This ceremony is free and open to the public.
Organ donor recipient Anna Villafana will share her story. Diagnosed with renal failure at age 18, Villafana received her first transplant from a family member, who gave her one of his kidneys as a living donor.
“It was the most amazing gift he could possibly give me,” she said.
After living for 15 and a half years with that gift, her body rejected the kidney and her health plummeted. In May 2016, Villafana received a call that a kidney was available from a young man who had lost his life. Villafana remains grateful that the donor put his name on the registry.
For Villafana and many others, the flag raising is an opportunity to say thank you and pay special honor and respect to individuals who have given the ultimate gift.
By flying the Donate Life flag, Palmdale Regional hopes to raise public awareness about donation and honor all organ, eye and tissue donors who have saved or enhanced lives with their generous gifts.
Tens of thousands of California residents are waiting to receive life-saving hearts, livers, lungs, kidneys and other organs. However, there are not enough donors to meet the growing need in the state, let alone the country.
In fact, 18 people die every day in the U.S. waiting for an organ transplant, and the national waiting list currently holds more than 120,000 people.
“Joining the Donor Registry gives hope to those in need of organ and tissue transplants, while leaving a legacy of generosity for the donor and his or her family,” Montague added.
Those wishing to make the commitment to donate may register online at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or its Spanish-language counterpart, www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org.
[Information via news release from Palmdale Regional Medical Center.]