April is National Donate Life Month | TahoeDailyTribune.com

April is National Donate Life Month

Deanna Santana

About the Author

Deanna Santana provides public education and public relations for Sierra Donor Services.

Every April, National Donate Life Month stands as a reminder that we all have a capacity to help save a life by registering to be a living organ donor.

It is also a time to honor those who choose to donate life, celebrate those who have received transplants, and recognize those who still wait for an organ or tissue transplant.

The community is invited to join Barton Health and Sierra Donor Services on Blue & Green Day on Friday, April 12, to help end the wait list and commemorate National Donate Life Month. Inside the main entrance of Barton Memorial Hospital, Sierra Donor Services will be registering organ and tissue donors, and helping the public check their registration status.

Blue and green are the symbolic colors of Donate Life Month, and the Barton Gift shop will be offering a 20 percent discount to organ donors and those wearing blue and green that day.

The need for donors is real in our community. In South Lake Tahoe, Brigette Ruedy is waiting for the life-saving transplant of double lungs. Her fight to live is matched only by her passion to help others understand the need for organ, eye, and tissue donors.

When asked about what she thinks of those who are on the Donate Life California registry, Brigette says, “I always thought it is a privilege to get your license and become an organ, eye and tissue donor. Seeing others that have that pink dot reminds me that everyone can be a hero to somebody in their life. And when they register as a donor they will build a grander legacy by being a hero to so many.”

Bridgette shares she misses taking walks with her husband, riding roller coasters and wrestling with her kids; because her disease, pulmonary hypertension, keeps her from living the life she used to and hopes for in the future. She explains, the very worst part about waiting is “hoping I wake up the next day.”

Her fear is real, as 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not donated in time — almost one person dying every hour. Brigette is one of over 113,000 people awaiting a life-saving organ transplant, thousands more people are waiting for lifesaving and healing eye and tissue transplants.

You can help by registering your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor, and learning more about living donation.

Interested in becoming a living donor? Register your decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor at donateLIFEcalifornia.org or visit livingdonationcalifornia.org.

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