Living Donation California Celebrates First Year of Saving Lives

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SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 13, 2014 – Living Donation California, the first-of-its kind information and referral website for living kidney donation, celebrates its first year of saving lives through altruistic giving.

Since its launch on May 14, 2013, thousands of people have visited seeking information about living kidney donation, why it’s needed, and how one person can save a life or many lives by donating one of their kidneys. Hundreds of visitors then took the self-assessment to determine their eligibility to be living kidney donors, and dozens who met the minimal requirements were referred on to one of 15 California transplant centers.

Darrell Neal knows what it’s like for a stranger to save his life by donating a kidney to him. The Sacramento man got a kidney transplant from Shannon Martin of Idaho. She saw Darrell on the Dr. Phil show talking about how kidney disease, dialysis and waiting for a transplant had affected him and his family. Shannon was so moved by Darrell’s story, she decided she would help if she could. She began and completed the evaluation process and donated to Darrell in August 2012.

“It felt unbelievable to know that someone who didn’t know me would give me such a gift,” says Darrell. “It was like I hit the lottery.” Read Darrell’s story here.

Right now, more than 100,000 people are waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant in the U.S.; more than 18,000 are in California. Those people can expect to wait up to ten years for a kidney transplant from a deceased donor. Each year, hundreds die waiting or get too sick to get a transplant.

In 2013 in California:

  • 2,085 people received kidney transplants:
    – 1,436 were from deceased donors.
    – 649 were from living donors.
  • 733 people died waiting for a kidney transplant.
  • 598 were removed from the waiting list because they got too sick to go through transplant surgery.

(Source: Organ Procurement and Transplant Network, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)


In 2009, during his battle with pancreatic cancer, Apple founder Steve Jobs received a liver transplant. But, during that process he grew frustrated over the shortage of organs in the U.S. In cooperation with then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Donate Life California, The Altruistic Living Donor Registry Act of 2010 (SB 1395) was signed into law, authorizing the state’s organ procurement organizations to establish a service designed to “promote and assist live kidney donations.” Living Donation California is that service.

About Living Donation California

Living Donation California is a free information and referral service that encourages California residents to be altruistic kidney donors, provides accurate information about living donation, and refers potentially eligible individuals for evaluation at a transplant center.

Living Donation California is administered by Donate Life California, which manages the state-authorized organ and tissue deceased donor registry. Donate Life California’s Board of Directors is composed of eight representatives of the state’s four non-profit, federally designated organ procurement organizations (OPOs): California Transplant Donor Network (CTDN), Lifesharing, OneLegacy, and Sierra Donor Services. In addition, Living Donation California is supported by a Board of Advisors including participating California kidney transplant programs.

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