Los Angeles County supervisors Kathryn Barger, 5th District, and Hilda Solis, 1st District, introduced a motion on April 5 proclaiming April as DMV/Donate Life Month.
“This motion is about saving lives,” Barger said. “Each time we renew our driver’s license or identification card at the Department of Motor Vehicles is an opportunity to help someone who is desperately in need of life-saving help. Checking off the organ donor option unlocks your ability to leave a lasting legacy that is invaluable and will never be forgotten by the person you are helping.”
“Far too many people of color are already systematically disadvantaged when it comes to receiving health care, but in cases involving organ transplants, they’re often denied equal access,” Solis said. “This DMV/Donate Life Month, I encourage Angelenos across the county to become heroes by registering as organ donors. Through this compassionate act, you can truly help improve and save lives.”
Tom Mone, CEO of OneLegacy, a nonprofit that oversees organ, eye and tissue donations in the county, said there is a need for more donors.
“We appreciate Supervisor Barger’s support and her critical work to bring donor registration into the spotlight. There is a great need for more people to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.” Mone said. “While transplant waitlists have started to decline, nearly 107,000 Americans are still waiting to receive a lifesaving organ and only 50% of Californians are actually registered. We hope Angelenos join us in celebrating Donate Life Month by saying yes to donation. Your registration could help save the life of a child, parent, neighbor or friend.”
Jolene Vargas, a Los Angeles County resident and transplant recipient, said it saved her life.
“I have received three kidney transplants from deceased donors over the past 30 years, which have given me the health to raise my son as a single mom,” Vargas said. “I think of my three donors and their families every day. So much of what I have experienced in life has been thanks to them. I want people to know how thankful I am, and how important organ donation is for people like me to continue living and being there for the people we love.”
For information, visit livingdonationcalifornia.org.