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BAKERSFIELD, CA – April 3, 2017 – Mercy and Memorial Hospitals will be joining with thousands of hospitals and millions of Americans this April to celebrate National Donate Life Month, a month of local, regional and national activities designed to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to honor those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.
“In California alone nearly 22,000 people are waiting to receive a lifesaving heart, liver, lung, kidney or pancreas transplant but there are simply not enough donors to meet the growing need,” said John Mastalski, Regional Director of Spiritual Care Services for Dignity Health Bakersfield. “Nationwide there are nearly 120,000 people currently on waiting lists and tragically 22 people die each day while waiting for a life-saving organ donation. But it doesn’t need to be this way.”
Mastalski points out that a single organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the lives of as many as 75 more by donating their corneas and tissue. More than 35,000 life-saving transplants were performed in the U.S. in 2016, more than 6 percent higher than 2015 and a milestone that has never been reached before. Still, there is much work to be done.
National Donate Life Month recognizes the generosity of those who have saved and enhanced lives by becoming donors, while also highlighting the critical need for more people to sign up to be donors. Activities throughout the month include:
“Organ, eye and tissue donation is one of the highest expressions of compassion and generosity,” says Mastalski. “We applaud the big-heartedness of those who save lives by becoming a donor and encourage others in our community to do the same.”
Becoming an organ or tissue donor is easy. People may register at the local DMV or online at www.donatelifecalifornia.org.
To help facilitate organ recovery and placement, Mercy and Memorial Hospitals are one of more than 200 hospitals and 11 transplant centers in Southern California who works directly with OneLegacy, the largest nonprofit organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world.
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