NEWS | April 9, 2018

Media advisory: Teen artists honored for encouraging organ and tissue donation

High school students who created the winning entries for the fourth annual Sacramento Regional Donate Life Visual Arts Contest will share their work and be recognized with a total of $4,100 in prize money at a ceremony in their honor. The contest is one of the ways UC Davis Transplant Center and Sierra Donor Services engage the community in Donate Life Month, a national campaign held each April to raise awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.

A total of 68 students from 14 high schools used their artistic talents and cultural perspectives to create posters or videos aimed at inspiring their peers to say “yes” to organ and tissue donation when applying for California identification cards or driver’s licenses. This year’s contest had the highest participation ever with 85 entries.

When and where:
The event begins at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, at the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center auditorium located at 4501 X St. in Sacramento. Media should park in lot 4 adjacent to the cancer center; enter from 45th Street and then through the ticket kiosk on the left.

9:30 a.m. — contest participants and their family members, local art teachers, and representatives of UC Davis Transplant Center and Sierra Donor Services gather
9:45 a.m.— opening remarks by Monica Johnson, executive director of Sierra Donor Services
9:50 a.m.— winners announced by Richard Perez, chief of transplant surgery at UC Davis
10 a.m.— closing remarks by Deanna Santana, public education manager for Sierra Donor Services
10:15 a.m. — photo opportunities near “Donor Rock,” a permanent memorial to organ and tissue donors at 45th and X streets near UC Davis Medical Center

Visuals and interviews:

  • Living kidney donors and family members of deceased organ donors interacting with teen artists and their art teachers
  • Displays of the winning contest entries — ten 11”x17” posters (five in English and five in other languages) and one video (English); all will be shared online following the event
  • Interviews with donors, family members and transplant specialists; spokespeople will be available for interviews in Spanish

There is a critical shortage of donors for the more than 21,000 Californians (about 1,900 in the Sacramento region) who are waiting for lifesaving organs or tissue, which is why Sierra Donor Services and the UC Davis Transplant Center teamed up to create the Donate Life Visual Arts Contest. The contest encourages high schoolers to help educate their peers that they have the power to save lives by registering as organ donors with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Information about the UC Davis Transplant Center, one of the nation’s highest volume kidney transplant programs, is at
Information about Sierra Donor Services — the organ and tissue donor recovery agency for the greater Sacramento area — including answers to frequently asked questions about organ donation is at