Three dozen butterflies — symbols of new life — were recently released during a touching tribute to those who gave life to others.
Hosted annually by UC Davis Transplant Center and Sierra Donor Services, the ceremony recognizes the generosity of UC Davis Medical Center patients who became organ and tissue donors. Because of them and others like them, 1,200 people in the Sacramento region received lifesaving transplants last year.
The event took place near Donate Life Memorial Rock, an inscribed monument dedicated during last year’s ceremony. This year, donors’ families and friends gathered at sundown on Oct. 12 as their loved ones’ names were read and monarchs flew into the sky.
"Through their bravery and kindness, they chose to renew the lives of others," said Bradley Simmons, chief operating officer of the medical center during the event. "Our donors and their families are an inspiration, and I am privileged to help remember them."
Other speakers included an organ recipient, a patient on a transplant wait list and moms of donors, including Deanna Santana, public education manager for Sierra Donor Services.
"I hope you find some small comfort in the legacy that your loved one has left through donation, as I have found with my son's donation," Santana said.
Information about joining California’s organ and tissue donor registry is at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/about/donatelife/donatelife