By: Doug Caldwell October 14, 2009 Central Valley Business Times
A student at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton and his sister are spearheading a drive to get people to pledge that they will donate their organs for transplants.
Paul Amador, 24, and his sister Laura Amador, 27, of Stockton know first-hand what that can mean. Ms. Amador is the recipient of a new kidney, freeing her from dialysis. Her brother has donated one of his kidneys.
But not directly to his sister.
“What makes our case so unique is that my donor was altruistic – a man that I never met who just wanted to this very kind deed,” says Laura Amador. “I got his kidney; Paul’s kidney went on to another man.”
Ms. Amador’s new kidney is from a Clovis man, Max Zapata, who donated one of his healthy kidneys to anyone who needed it in a program set up by the University of California, San Francisco. Mr. Amador, a student at Delta who also works for BNSF Railway (NYSE: BNI), was not a match for his sister, but donated one of his healthy kidneys to the program, too.
Now, others touched by the two original donations have donated organs as well, leading to, by last week, 14 people having their lives changed through organ donation, Mr. Amador says.
The Amadors’ story and how Mr. Zapata’s gift touched off a chain reaction that has impacted lives nationwide is expected to be part of a report in November on the CBS Evening News, the brother and sister say.
“He’s a modest, down-to-earth guy,” Mr. Amador says after meeting and getting to know Mr. Zapata. “It’s just amazing there’s people out their who would donate a kidney to just anyone … just as long as it changes somebody’s life.”
The Stockton siblings have joined the non-profit organization Donate Life California to advocate the necessity of organ donation to save lives. Mr. Amador has founded a club at the college, “Dance for Donors,” to help educate the campus on the importance of organ and tissue donation and involve his college in the 2009 National Donation Campus Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources.
The efforts have resulted in nearly 300 people signing up with the California Department of Motor Vehicles organ donation pledge program, he says.
To be an organ donor in California please register at the DMV or visit Donate Life California.
To register to be a donor in your state please click HERE