Article submitted by Jena Esposito, KPS3
Observed in April each year, National Donate Life Month is dedicated to helping raise awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation and encouraging Americans to register as organ donors. The national recognition also honors those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.
Donor Network West—northern Nevada and northern California’s only federally designated nonprofit organ procurement organization—is planning a month packed with educational, informational and remembrance events all to inspire northern Nevada residents to become registered organ donors.
“There are more than 600 Nevadans on the national organ transplant waiting list,” said Janice Whaley, president and CEO of Donor Network West. “Throughout the month, we aim to further share the impact organ donors have on the lives of people in northern Nevada. Having facilitated every organ transplant in the community for the last 35 years, we have worked with hundreds of northern Nevadans to facilitate the life saving gift of organ donation and transplantation.”
Mark your calendars for the following Donate Life Month events:
Reno Arch Lighting – Saturday, April 1
National Donate Life Month kicks off Saturday, April 1 as Donor Network West is joined by the City of Reno to turn the Downtown Reno Arch blue and green. At the event, local Hospital Heroes, including community organ donation champions and hospital staff and physicians, will be recognized from Carson Tahoe Health, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Northern Nevada Sierra Medical Center and Renown Health.
Wendy and Mitch Hammond, mother and father of Lizzy Hammond who died in July 2019 after a tragic accident, will share their daughter’s story during the event as well. The Hammond family decided to donate Lizzy’s organs after she spent days in the hospital on life support. Lizzy saved three lives through organ donation. Local kidney and pancreas transplant recipient and Donor Network West ambassador, Tom Graham, will also share his story.
The Hospital Heroes event will take place at the Whitney Peak Hotel. Attendees will then move outside to light the Arch at 7:30 p.m. Those planning to attend may RSVP online.
Reno Aces’ Home Run for Life Game – Friday, April 14
Donor Network West is partnering with the Reno Aces to support six Home Run for Life games throughout the 2023 season, with the first game happening Friday, April 14. The partnership brings critical awareness about organ donation to the community. During each Home Run for Life game, individuals in the northern Nevada community will be honored by taking a ceremonial trip around the bases. Individuals honored have received life-saving transplants or have lost a loved one who saved lives through organ donation.
The community is invited to cheer on local high school student and liver transplant recipient, Lavender McKillip, who will be honored at the first Home Run for Life game of the season, Friday, April 14, at Greater Nevada Field.
Donor Remembrance Candle Lighting at Renown Health – Thursday, April 27
The community is invited to attend a candle lighting ceremony in honor of organ donors who saved others through the gift of life. Set to take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 27 at the LOVE sculpture outside of Renown Regional Medical Center, the ceremony will include words of remembrance, a moment of silence and a poem-reading to close out National Donate Life Month. Attendees will also have the opportunity to write notes of gratitude. To learn more about organ and tissue donation or to register as an organ donor, visit the Department of Motor Vehicles or DonorNetworkWest.org.
About Donor Network West
Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation and research. Established in 1987, Donor Network West is designated and certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, accredited by the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), is a member of the Organ Donation Alliance and is an official Donate Life organization. Donor Network West is federally designated to serve 45 counties in northern California and northern Nevada, Donor Network West partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registries to help increase donor registration. For information, visit DonorNetworkWest.org and follow us on social media: @mydnwest.