Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry Release: Organ, Tissue Donor Registry Going Strong: Reaches 60,000 Mark

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Californians continue to step up to the plate with more than 60,000 committing to be organ and/or tissue donors via the new Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry, the state's first online donor database launched April 4.

State senators made their own commitment clear by voting 39-0 to approve SB 689 (Speier) that calls on the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to collect organ and tissue donor designation information on its applications and renewals for drivers licenses and identification cards.

"We appreciate the continued momentum of the Donate Life California Registry and the many comments from people across the state," stated Tracy Bryan, president of Donate Life California, the not-for-profit organization that administers the organ and tissue donor registry. "We've only been operating for 60 days, yet we already have 60,000 registrations from those committed to donating life. This surpasses our highest expectations."

Bryan added, "We are equally appreciative of our state senators who voted in a completely nonpartisan way to optimize donation by enabling the DMV to collect organ and tissue designation information on applications and renewals of drivers licenses and ID cards. The bill now goes to the State Assembly, where we are hopeful that these elected officials will also affirm life by passing this legislation."

According to David Heneghan, public affairs manager for the California Transplant Donor Network that serves central and northern California, "Partnering with the DMV is critical to saving lives. In fact, it makes the difference between saving thousands versus hundreds of lives."

In the Assembly, the principal coauthor of SB 689 is Assembly Member Sally Lieber, with co-authors Assembly Members John Benoit, Dave Jones, Mark Leno, Bill Maze, Fran Pavley and Sharon Runner. Should the bill pass, the program is slated to go into effect in July 2006. Californians are encouraged to write their local representatives to show support for this legislation.

"It's amazing how many people believe they have registered because they obtained pink dots on their drivers licenses," noted Tom Mone, secretary/treasurer for Donate Life California and chief executive officer of OneLegacy, the federally designated organ procurement organization that serves Southern California. "A pink dot is not legally binding by itself. Your commitment does not count until you register online and state your specific requests on this highly secure site. The site also allows registrants to share their commitment, if desired, with family members and friends. Loved ones then know your wishes and can honor them."

Californians with email addresses can sign up to be organ and tissue donors at any computer with Internet capability. Each registrant's personal donation decision is stored in a secure database free of charge, and the information is accessible as "read-only" solely to authorized, non-hospital organ and tissue recovery personnel. At the time of registration, registrants will have the option of sending an email notification to friends and family as well. The Donate Life California Registry also offers current data and information about donation, personal stories that reinforce the life-enhancing result of organ and tissue gifts, and links to local resources.

There are currently more than 18,500 people waiting for life-saving organs in California, of which 13,600 are waiting for kidneys. Of the nearly 90,000 people on the national organ transplant waiting list, 17 people die each day waiting. Many hundreds of thousands more require donated tissues to prevent or cure blindness, heal burns, or prevent amputation. An individual donor can save the lives of eight people through organ donation and enhance the lives of 50 others through tissue donation.

Information on the Donate Life California Registry can be obtained at or in Spanish at Additional information can be obtained through each of the federally designated, non-profit organ procurement organizations listed among the website's local resources.

Media Contacts: Rivian Bell or Debra Stolberg, JDI Communications, Inc.,(213) 612-4927, (888) 477-4319 (24/7), or

Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry

CONTACT: Rivian Bell,, or Debra Stolberg, both of JDICommunications, Inc., +1-213-612-4927, or (24

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