There are more than 100,000 people on the National Organ Transplant Waiting List. More than 21,000 of those people live in California, according to Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.
Despite this, there are about 8.5 million licensed drivers and ID card holders in the nation and only 23% of those people have checked “yes” on their license or ID card to register as an organ and tissue donor. That number drops to 18% in the state of California.
In an effort to bring recognition to the need for organ donors and the importance of letting friends and family know if you are a registered donor, state registries across the nation, together with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are celebrating National Donor Life Month.
The city of La Cañada also is joining the crusade to save lives through organ donation.
During Monday night's City Council meeting, La Cañada Flintridge Mayor Laura Olhasso presented La Cañada resident Reg Green with a certificate proclaiming April Donate Life California Month.
Green is the former British journalist whose 7-year-old son, Nicholas died 14 years ago in Italy as the result of a botched jewelry heist. Green and his wife Maggie chose to donate Nicholas' organs, which allowed seven Italians another chance at life. All seven organ recipients are currently living productive lives, Green reported.
“I hope this proclamation will prompt all residents of La Cañada Flintridge to make the commitment to donate life and sign up on the registry, Green said, adding, “Every community has people waiting desperately for someone to say 'yes' to donation.”
In a separate proclamation, Olhasso on Monday night encouraged residents to wear denim on April 22, in support of Sexual Awareness Month and Denim Day.