NEWS | August 9, 2019

Ceremony honors organ donors and their families

Family members gather to recognize their loves ones' gifts of life

(SACRAMENTO)

Ruth H.  Joyce S.  Javier T.  Ralph C.  Helen P.

The Organ Donation Action Team plans an annual event to honor UC Davis Health patients who became organ donors. From left to right are Toby Marsh, Sheryl Ruth, Melissa Bein, Samuel Brown-Dawson, Deborah Cryder, Eric Moore, Joy Brewer, Anna Olszewski, Caroline Schrader, Deann Hayes, Caprice Scott, Christine Williams and Heather Stokes. The Organ Donation Action Team plans an annual event to honor UC Davis Health patients who became organ donors. From left to right are Toby Marsh, Sheryl Ruth, Melissa Bein, Samuel Brown-Dawson, Deborah Cryder, Eric Moore, Joy Brewer, Anna Olszewski, Caroline Schrader, Deann Hayes, Caprice Scott, Christine Williams and Heather Stokes.

These are a few of the 243 names read last night at a special ceremony honoring UC Davis Health patients who became organ donors in the past three years.

The event brought donor families together to recognize their loves ones’ gifts of life. UC Davis providers who often care for donors and their recipients were there as well.

After the name reading, the group convened near Donor Rock, a permanent memorial to organ donors on UC Davis Medical Center grounds, and released butterflies — a symbol of transition from one life to another.

Deanna Santana was among the speakers. She is public relations manager for Sierra Donor Services, the region’s organ procurement organization, and the parent of an organ donor.

“Your loves ones' donations have given so many in need a chance to live a life which they would not have had otherwise,” Santana said. “You have spared another family the pain and grief you are experiencing now.”

The annual event is planned by the Organ Donation Action Team, which helps establish a positive culture for organ and tissue donation at UC Davis Health. The team includes staff of UC Davis Medical Center and Sierra Donor Services. Thanks to their efforts, the medical center recently received platinum-level recognition (the highest possible) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for increasing participation in organ, eye and tissue donor registries.

More information about organ and tissue donation is available on these websites:

UC Davis Transplant Center 
Sierra Donor Services 
Donate Life California
California Department of Motor Vehicles Organ and Tissue Donor Registry