Friday, January 29, 2010


Second Chance @ Life has received approval from the Kentucky Department of Transportation for a specialty plate, highlighting organ donation as shown above. Please note that application can be downloaded by clicking the link below and when completed must be sent in with at $25.00 check.

900 applicants and initial fee must be collected before the first license plate will be struck, so please support organ donation and transplantation and get your application today.

There will be a rally at the state capital rotunda on February 2nd! Please come and show your support and promote the new Donate LIfe License plate.


Gift of Life Race Registration

Race Registration

5th Annual LifePoint Gift of Life 5K/2K Run Walk

Date: Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010
Location: James Island County Park, Charleston, S.C.
Start Time: 9:00 a.m.
Registration fee: $25.00 (includes T-shirt, goody bag and park entry fee)

Register now on or download a 5K/2K Race registration form (PDF 1.3 MB).

Learn more about race sponsorship opportunities >>

New this year:

We have added a non-competitive 2K (1.24 miles) Run Walk this year. Runners and walkers may participate in either the 5K or the 2K. Those who plan to walk leisurely are asked to register for the 2K.

Along with the usual age and gender divisions, we will again have a transplant recipient division for males and females.

Baby strollers are allowed in our race. We request that you participate in the 2K.

This event will help raise awareness about saving lives through organ and tissue donation and help promote awareness of the South Carolina Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.

Your participation and/or sponsorship will help us save lives and celebrate life. Some proceeds will help send donor families from South Carolina to the 2010 U.S. Transplant Games in Madison, Wisconsin.

For More Race Details or To Become a Sponsor, Contact: Shirley McAdams or 800-462-0755.

2010 Race Sponsors

The Gift of Life 5K/2K Run/Walk is generously being sponsored by the following businesses.

SC Coroners Association - Click here to visit this sponsor!Visit the Donate Life web site
Road ID - Click here to visit this sponsor!Cover 2 Cover Magazine


Nationwide Vote to Determine Best Organ Donation-Themed Movie

'Return to Me' and 'Johny Q' Among Nominees

Transplant Recipients, Living Donors and Donor Families to Vote for Winner of Donate Life Hollywood's Inspire Award

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- In a lead-up to the second Donate Life Film Festival June 11-12, the nation's organ donation and transplant community will vote for the best organ donation feature film of all time. The four nominated films are Seven Pounds, Return to Me, John Q and Blood Work.

Nominations were generated by the Philadelphia Transplant Movie Night, a group of transplant recipients, living donors and families of deceased donors who meet quarterly to watch films with a donation/transplant theme. Donate Life Hollywood helped to set the criteria: the film must be entertaining to watch, enlighten viewers about the donation process, and inspire people to become organ donors or to think positively about organ donation.

Attendees were asked to pick their top four nominees which resulted in a list of 11 unique titles for consideration.

"Each film's votes were tallied and the top four vote-getters qualified for final consideration," explained Jim Gleason, a heart recipient who organized the movie night and developed a website that collects all organ donation-related films. "We projected the list of 70 transplant movies currently in our database as a reminder of the films we knew about and have seen in our five years of hosting Transplant Movie Night here in Philadelphia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the most complete listing of movies with a transplant in their storyline in the world."

Donate Life Hollywood, a national campaign to encourage accurate and inspiring donation and transplant storylines in television and film, will solicit votes from thousands of people touched by organ and tissue donation and who work in the donation/transplantation field.

The winner will be honored at the Donate Life Hollywood Inspire Awards Dinner, the climax of the second annual Donate Life Film Festival, on June 12 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, California. The winner's cast, director, writers and producers will be invited to attend.

Tenaya Wallace, campaign director for Donate Life Hollywood, noted that "The award testifies to the power of film to not only inspire an audience, but to save lives."

SOURCE Donate Life Hollywood


By Meg Haskell

BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Students from Bangor High School will take part Monday in an international campaign to raise awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.

George Marcello of Toronto, founder of the nonprofit organization Step by Step, kicked off the “SOS The Americas” campaign last October in Wasilla, Alaska, aiming to wrap it up in Ushuaia, Argentina, in October 2011. Monday’s event in Bangor marks his first stop in the lower 48 states. He plans to visit a total of 159 cities in the U.S., and a total of 36 countries in the Americas, recruiting students to carry the torch in each community.

About 20 students from the Bangor High School track team will meet Marcello and the Truck of Life at about 2 p.m. Monday in Pickering Square. There they will accept the lighted torch and carry it about two miles back to the school. Their route will follow Broadway out of the downtown area.

In a telephone interview this week, Marcello, 54, said the goal of the campaign is to raise public awareness of organ and tissue donation. His dedication to the issue stems from personal experience.

“I got involved back in 1995, when I was waiting for a liver transplant,” he said. “I had about two days left to live. I had made my funeral arrangements. But I was one of the lucky ones who got a call.”

After he recovered from the transplant procedure, Marcello decided to show his gratitude for the gift by founding Step by Step and walking with a friend from Toronto to Ottawa, a trek of about 400 miles. Two years later, with support from the YMCA, The Salvation Army and other groups, Marcello hiked other parts of the province of Ontario to raise public awareness. The project resulted in the provincial government establishing a new organ donation agency, he said.

In 2000, Marcello commenced a walk across Canada, taking 769 days to complete the journey. He drew international attention and was granted an audience with Pope John Paul II. The pope proclaimed his support for organ and tissue donation and termed it “a genuine act of love,” Marcello said.

“I passed him the torch and he blessed it,” Marcello said. “He said to pass the torch to students.”

Since then, Marcello has been focusing his efforts on teens and young adults, he said. The current “SOS The Americas” campaign will involve more than 500 student torch carriers.

“Once these kids get into this issue, their passion knows no bounds,” he said.

Marcello said Maine is one of very few states where family members cannot override a loved one’s designated wish to be an organ donor in the event of unexpected death.

On the Web:


By Beata Mostafavi | Flint Journal

January 29, 2010, 9:30AM

FLINT, Michigan — Cardinal rules of the road, traffic etiquette and how to donate your heart?

Driver’s education training classes could soon teach students about organ donation alongside driver dogma under new legislation introduced by Sen. John Gleason, D-Flushing.

The proposed mandate would add Michigan to a growing list of states that use driver’s ed as a vehicle to boost the number of people in donor registries.

“We are fighting for this legislation because we are losing too many chances,” said Gleason, noting that almost 3,000 people in Michigan are on a waiting list for a transplant and less than a quarter of licensed drivers are on the donor registry.

Gleason’s bill, which he hopes to make law in time for fall, would require students in driver’s ed to receive instruction on how to join the state’s organ, tissue and eye donor registry.

Instruction material could include a DVD and brochure produced and paid for by donor program Gift of Life.

Marni Idoni, whose 14-year-old daughter will take driver’s training this spring, said she thinks the class would be good venue to learn about organ donation.

“It would make kids aware of what it is and how it could affect other people,” said Idoni, of Fenton, who is on the donor registry herself. “It’s a conversation parents maybe wouldn’t think to have with their kids or wouldn’t necessarily want to have.”

Gleason said the proposal is also intended to spark more dialogue between young people and families about the decision to donate and debunk common misconceptions — such as the notion that people who donate organs cannot have open casket funerals.

It’s also an issue close to Gleason’s heart — he received a kidney transplant from his sister Rita Blanchard in 2001.

“I’ve been down this road so I understand how great a gift this can be,” he said.

Bill SB 1045 passed unanimously in the Senate Transportation Committee Jan. 19 and will move to the Senate floor. It would then have to be passed by the House and signed by the governor.

It’s not the first time Gleason has tried passing laws to help registry numbers.

Another law that took effect in 2007 required the Michigan Secretary of State's Office to ask people applying for or renewing their driver's license if they wanted to become organ donors. Those who did would be identified by a heart symbol on their driver's license.

No major religious group opposes organ donation.

Faye Dent-Webster, owner of the On the Move Driving School in Mt. Morris Township, said the topic would fit in well with segment 2 of driver’s ed, which addresses such subjects as road rage, defensive driving and drunk driving,

“That would be a good subject to touch on,” she said. “I think they should be informed on what’s going on and what their position would be in the case a tragedy would happen. It would be a good chance to give them that exposure and let them know how it could save someone’s life.”

Nationally, about 18 people die everyday because an organ did not become available for them, according to Ann Arbor-based Gift of Life.

Just 24 percent of licensed drivers, or a little more than 1.7 million people in Michigan are on the donor registry. That compares to a national average of 39 percent.

“We think that education for drivers is a great opportunity for them to learn about organ and tissue donation and how it can save lives,” said Tim Makinen, Gift of Life communications director. “What a person is saying is that they want their final act to be one that could change a life.

“If something tragic happens, there’s no question for the family what the person wanted.”

Several other states, including Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin have adopted similar policies in the past few years adding education about organ donation to driver’s training courses.

Other states, such as North Carolina, require organ donation to be taught in other venues such as health or physical education classes.

Fenton High School freshman Madison Idoni, 14, said she thinks the topic could be added either to driver’s training or even during regular school time.

“I think that would be a good time to do it,” she said of exposing people to the process at an early age. “It gives you more time to think about it.”

The Donate Life Organ Donation Blog team encourages those states who do not have a mandatory educational component in their drivers education programs or High Schools to implement a similar program.


Alonzo Mourning to be Honored by the Miami Transplant Institute at Humanitarian Award Celebration on February 24, 2010 at Ritz-Carlton South Beach

On Wednesday, February 24, 2010, the Inaugural Miami Transplant Institute’s Humanitarian Award Celebration will be held at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, South Beach honoring former Miami HEAT player and local philanthropist Alonzo Mourning for focusing public attention on the critical need for organ donation and for research in organ transplantation. This special evening will feature an elegant dinner with classic cocktails, delectable food and a luxury silent and live auction – with proceeds benefitting the Miami Transplant Institute (MTI) at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. For more information about the Celebration, contact Irma Friedman, Executive Director of Development, at


Source: Manic Mammy, January 29, 2010

This is by far the best television documentary series that I’ve seen in ages. It follows 14 different people from the 600 or so who are awaiting organ transplants in Ireland. In the first episode a lady awaiting and eventually receiving a heart transplant, a spouse to spouse kidney transplant, a young man awaiting his second kidney transplant for over 3 and a half year and a young girl from Enniscorthy who undergoes a liver transplant were shown.

The second episode concerned, for the most part, cystic fibrosis patients. It is Ireland’s most common life-threatening inherited disease. I was unaware that many cf patients may need a liver transplant as well as lungs transplant. This episode detailed Luke’s liver transplant in Dublin, Orla’s efforts to get on to the Newcastle lung transplant waiting list, the effect of cystic fibrosis on 6 year old Hannah’s day to day life and Jacinta from Knock suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, awaiting and eventually receiving a single lung transplant in the Mater hospital.

I am humbled by the courage, resilience and hope of these admirable people and their families. To know that their health has to deteriorate to such an extent before they’ll even be accepted on to the organ donation waiting list and to be aware of the numbers that pass away whilst on these lists. For many there are years of waiting, helpless, their lives put on hold as they wait for the misfortune of some other person and some other family to enable them to receive a new lease on life.

I doubt whether I would be as strong. This programme makes me acutely aware of how very fortunate I am that my family is healthy and of how important it is to carry an organ donation card and to make your next of kin aware of your organ donation wishes.

If you missed the first couple of episodes you can catch up on the TV3 website. Congrats to TV3 for making such a gripping, must-see, excellent and ultimately life affirming series. Less imported crappy reality tv and more of this type high standard documentaries please.




"Comforting the mind, body, and soul through the healing force of artistic expression"

If you know someone who is waiting for or has received a transplant or a family member of an organ, tissue or eye donor, our nationwide art contest presents a unique opportunity for them to share their experience and emotions in a tangible way.

Heres' how it works:

Any donation or transplantation organization is invited to enlist a donor family, transplant candidate or transplant recipient to submit an original work of art to be the signature artwork for the 2010 National Learning Congress Gallery of Hope. All submissions by these very special artists will be on display in a Gallery of Hope throughout the conference at the 6th Donation and Transplantation National Learning Congress on November 3-4 2010 at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, Texas.

Eligibility / Contest Rules-Summary
For Full Contest Rules please click HERE to download a PDF
  1. Artist must be a member of a donor family, a transplant candidate, or an organ, tissue or eye transplant recipient.
  2. Art "Works" for Transplantation Contestants under the age of 18 must have parental / guardian's written consent
  3. Artist must have sole ownership of the artwork and be free of any copyright infringement.
  4. A description (up to 400 words) of the artwork must be submitted to clarify the meaning behind the work. An optional summary of the transplant story can be submitted within the 400 word description.
  5. All artwork must be flat, one dimensional and must adhere to a minimum size of 8" x 10" and a maximum size of 18" x 24". No exceptions.
  6. All entries must be received by May 1, 2010
  7. Final judging will take place on June 10-11, 2010
  8. Grand prize winner and a guest will be invited to attend the 2010 Medal of Honor Ceremony at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine, Texas. The artwork winner will be asked to present their artwork on stage at the ceremony. All travel and lodging cost will be paid for the winner and one guest.

Any questions pertaining to the contest please contact Amy Fisher @ 702.889.9029 or email:



The Astellas Ride of a Lifetime Contest- 2011

ENTER NOW: The Astellas Ride of a LifetimeSM 2011 Contest

The Astellas Ride of a Lifetime Contest: A Transplant Tradition

For the past eight years, Astellas has provided the highest level of sponsorship and support as the "benefactor" partner for the Donate Life Rose Parade® float - only one example of Astellas’ more than 20-year commitment to transplantation and organ donation.

To honor those touched by transplantation, Astellas launched the Astellas Ride of a LifetimeSM essay contest in 2005. The inaugural contest asked organ transplant recipients to share their transplant experience by submitting a 500-word essay on how their life had been transformed by transplantation. Five winners were chosen and won the opportunity to experience in-person one of the most celebrated entertainment events in the world – the Tournament of Roses Parade®. The contest winners traveled to California where they became members of the float building team and rode aboard the Donate Life float themed "Life Transformed" in the Rose Parade on January 1, 2006.

To read the winning essays and see photos of the 2006 float riders enjoying their Ride of a Lifetime - click here.

The second annual Astellas Ride of a Lifetime contest offered transplant recipients the opportunity to honor and thank their living organ donors for the gift of life. Organ recipients nominated their living organ donor to be a part of the 2007 Rose Parade. The five winning organ donors traveled to California where they become members of the float building team and rode aboard the Donate Life float themed "Giving from the Heart" on New Year's Day 2007.

To read the winning essays and see photos of the 2007 float riders enjoying their Ride of a Lifetime - click here.

The third annual Astellas Ride of a Lifetime contest asked transplant recipients to share their inspirational transplantation stories for a chance to ride on the 2008 Rose Parade float. The five winning organ transplant recipients traveled to California to spend five days building the float, participating in special receptions and riding aboard the Donate Life float themed "Life Takes Flight" down the legendary Colorado Blvd. at the Rose Parade.

To read the winning essays and see photos of the 2008 float riders enjoying their Ride of a Lifetimeclick here.

On January 1, 2009, another set of five contest winners set off down Colorado Blvd. on the “Stars of Life” float. The float celebrated each rider’s second chance at life and the generosity of organ donors who made those chances possible. The winners spent five days building and decorating the Donate Life float, and their efforts won them the Queen’s Trophy for the best use of roses on a float – a special honor adding to the memories of the event.

To read the winning essays and see photos of the 2009 float riders enjoying their Ride of a Lifetimeclick here.

And on January 1, 2010, five new Ride of a Lifetime winners rode aboard the Donate Life float themed "New Life Rises," which featured a phoenix, the mythical symbol of life coming out of death. The symbol represents those who give life in their passing and the people whose lives are renewed by their gifts.

To read the winning essays and see photos of the 2010 float riders enjoying their Ride of a Lifetimeclick here.

The Donate Life float is coordinated by OneLegacy, a non-profit transplant donor network serving 19 million people in Southern California.

The Rose Parade is a registered trademark of the Tournament of Roses Association.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Thousands Saved and Healed by Registered Organ and Tissue Donors

By: Katherine Doolittle Community Outreach Manager, Golden State Donor Services

Left to Right: Sharon Mecartea, Pat Forsberg, DMV Manager Kim Nunez, Debbie Vintere, Sylvia Miller, Amy Malik, Joyce Smethers, Katherine Doolittle. Image courtesy Katherine Doolittle
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 27, 2010 – As Donate Life California and the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced the state has reached the highest enrollment of a donor registry in the US with six million registrants, Nevada County learned it is a leader in California with the highest percentage (33%* vs. the county average of 26%) of its population signing up on the Registry.

Locals in Nevada County celebrated the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry's milestone and their own success today at the Grass Valley Department of Motor Vehicles. On hand to mark the occasion with a special banner, were Donate Life Ambassador and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Director Patricia Forsberg (Auburn resident) along with Community Outreach Manager on behalf of the Registry, Katherine Doolittle (Nevada City resident) .

Forsberg, a donor mother, says she understands well the power of the gift of life in the healing process. "Being a critical care nurse for more than 30 years, and actually having worked in transplant hospital units, I already knew donation saved lives. My son, Dustin Fox, was just 20 years old and a student at Cuesta College, when I got the call about his accident. I gave permission for donation without hesitation, and my son saved five lives. It has helped me to know something good came from this tragedy."

Doolittle knows the other side; the father of her two sons is alive today because of a double organ transplant. One son is Kyle Riordan, a sophomore at Nevada Union High School. Riordan shares "It's a miracle that my dad is alive today, able to participate in my life. We will never forget the unselfish act of the donor and donor's family that saved my dad's life. "

His mother, Doolittle adds "I have the honor to work with about 200 Donate Life Ambassadors who share many of the selfless qualities of Pat. They are each committed to bringing awareness to the public about the miracle of donation and the Registry. To live in this community which embraces full-heartedly the principles of the gift of life through organ and tissue donation makes my family and me so proud. But, then living here, I am not surprised at all that our percent of signups is leading the state!"

Grass Valley DMV Manager Kim Nunez shared in the excitement with her staff as they learned their office is a leader in signing up the highest percentage of clients on the Registry. "Our staff is firmly committed to this program, as well as to learning the facts so we can help dispel the many myths that abound about becoming a donor. It's an honor for us to play a part of saving lives. "

"Each of us has the power to save up to eight lives as an organ donor and heal up to 50 others as a tissue donor. I strongly encourage every Californian to sign up with the registry," said Doolittle. "We encourage Californians to check ‘Yes' to be a donor every time they renew their license or you can sign up by visiting the website:

Since the Donate Life California Registry was introduced in April 2005, more than 900 lives have been saved in our state through organ donation and up to 30,000 more have been healed through tissue donation from donors who had signed up on the registry.

Donate Life California is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry which records the decision to donate in a secure, confidential database that is searched by authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel at the time of an actual donation opportunity. Approximately 15 percent of organ and tissue donors recovered statewide are now authorized by a document of gift through the Donate Life California Registry.

"The registry's core promise – to save lives by ensuring individuals' wishes to donate are honored – is accomplishing its life-saving mission," said Miryam Mora Barajas, Executive Director of Donate Life California.

As of January 11, more than 16 percent of the state's residents have registered as organ and/or tissue donors, joining the more than 87 million Americans who have registered nationwide. The Donate Life California Registry continues to grow rapidly, adding 30,000 donors each week through the DMV's driver license and ID card application and renewal process, which accounts for 98 percent of registrations. This pace of growth is projected to continue through July 2011, when the registry completes its first five-year DMV renewal cycle.

"We know that the generosity of Californians knows no bounds, and over the next 18 months, the DMV will continue to assist customers as they register as donors for the first time," said DMV Director George Valverde. "Our future goal is for California to register half of its licensed drivers as donors."

The registry's future growth faces obstacles, the most immediate being that many Californians mistakenly believe they are registered as donors if they have an outdated donor sticker on their license. The only way to register and ensure one's wishes to donate are honored is by signing up through the Donate Life California website or by checking ‘Yes' on the DMV application form.

While Californians are still growing accustomed to the idea of registering as a donor, it is notable that in 2008, in organ donation cases where the potential donor is not registered, 68 percent of families presented with the opportunity to donate chose to save lives through donation.

Donate Life California is a nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by California's four nonprofit, federally designated organ recovery organizations, each responsible for facilitating the donation process in the state: California Transplant Donor Network, Golden State Donor Services, Lifesharing and OneLegacy.

To sign up on the Registry, visit

For more information, please visit,

*Only El Dorado County shares this percentage in the state.



Josh Turner

It’s Christmas year-round here at DLI camp! We’re always in a giving mood.

As part of our partnership with US99 for their Live Country Series, we’re giving away 40 free pairs of tickets to see Josh Turner at a private concert here in Chicago on February 11!

These tickets are not for sale, so here’s your chance to win!

Hop over to this contest page to learn what steps need to be taken to enter (21 and older only). Any Illinois resident can enter now through January 31 and we’ll notify the winners by February 2.

Spread the word to anyone you know that’s a country fan and good luck!

And remember to register to be and organ, eye and tissue donor by visiting Donate Life Illinois

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


February 14 is the 10th National Donor Day -- a day to give the gift of life.

Focused on five points of life: organs, tissues, marrow, platelets, and blood. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue donor card signings across the Nation
  • Fill out an organ and tissue donation card, register with your State Donor Registry and make sure your family knows you want to be a donor.
  • Join the National Registry of potential volunteer marrow and blood stem cell donors.
  • Learn how you can donate your baby's umbilical cord blood stem cells at birth.
  • Donate blood.
Why be a Donor?
The need is great and growing.
  • OVER 105,000 people are in need of an organ for transplant.
  • Approximately 35,000 children and adults in our country have life-threatening blood diseases that could be treated by a marrow/blood stem cell or cord blood transplant.
  • Every two seconds someone in America needs blood, more than 39,000 units each day, according to the American Red Cross.
Why do it Today?
Valentine's Day is the day of love and donation is the gift of life. Can you think of a more loving gesture than making February 14 the day you join thousands of Americans in making the donation decision?

National Donor Day was started in 1998 by the Saturn Corporation and its United Auto Workers partners with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and many nonprofit health organizations.