East Bay teens fuel social media campaign for toddler who needs heart transplant

EAST BAY TIMES | Jon Kawamoto

Students work with Donor Network West, family, for #WillYou organ donor drive.

SAN RAMON, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 21: Anay Roge, left, David Zhi LuoZhang and Ishan Sethi, of Dougherty Valley High School, are photographed with a screen shot of Johnette and her 20-month-old daughter Reagan, no last names provided at Donor Network West office in San Ramon, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019. The students won a social media hackathon to help Donor Network West. Reagan of Walnut Creek is diagnosed with a congenital heart condition and is waiting for a heart transplant at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
SAN RAMON — On Valentine’s Day, thoughts turn to love, relationships, memories, hopes, as well as the usual chocolates and flowers.

But for three Dougherty Valley High School students, Feb. 14 — also known as National Donor Day — will forever be known as the day a social media campaign debuted — on Facebook, Twitter and highlighting a heartfelt video of a Walnut Creek toddler girl and her family.

The students inspired the campaign by nonprofit Donor Network West, San Ramon, by coming up with its theme — the hashtag #WillYou. It focused on the plight of Reagan, a toddler girl from Walnut Creek with a congenital heart condition in need of a heart transplant. In the video, titled #WillYou Be My Donor? and produced by the girl’s family, Reagan’s father, Mark, talks about what he hopes for his daughter if she gets a transplant. He urges people to give hope to Reagan and those waiting for a transplant by registering as an organ donor.

Reagan’s video has received 41,000 views and 650 shares on the Donor Network West Facebook page, as well as 15,000 Twitter impressions — the number of times a tweet shows up in somebody’s timeline — according to Michael Freise, digital marketing coordinator and project lead for Donor Network West and Noel Sanchez, public affairs manager for Donor Network West. Continue reading