Film Re-Release: A Question of Faith

While you are practicing social distancing, have a movie night with Donate Life Texas!

On Sunday, April 12, the film A Question of Faith will be aired on Lifetime.  In the film, three families struck by tragedy find that destiny forces them on a converging path to discover God’s love, grace, and mercy as the challenges of their fate could also resurrect their beliefs.

This compelling story will have you feeling inspired! Share a picture, or several, of you and your loved ones enjoying the movie!  There might be some #DonateLifeTexas swag for you.  Share with us a picture of you and your loved ones enjoying the movie through our Facebook Page, tag us on Twitter (@DonateLifeTexas) or Instagram (@DonateLifeTexas).  Post your photos in the comments. 💙💚 #DonateLife #aquestionoffaith #Lifetime

Enjoy the official film trailer, or visit Lifetime’s website.

Create Your Own Donor Registration Page

Here it is – an easy way to encourage others to join the Donate Life Texas donor registry!

DLT’s Unite 4 Life Program offers turn-key resources with everything you need to host a registration campaign, including the ability to create your own donor registration page on our website.

You’ll also find education and ideas to help you advocate for donation. Registration pages can be created to give people a way to register in honor or memory of someone special or to make registering quick and easy at your school, place of worship or workplace.  And, DLT will be there every step of the way to provide as much guidance and support as you wish.

Log in to the Unite 4 Life Host Portal to explore program resources and get started:

  • Campaign Creator tool – set up  your own DLT donor registration campaign page and track results.
  • Tips, materials and ideas to help enhance your campaign
  • Donation and registration FAQs
  • Downloadable promotion materials like posters, fliers and social media graphics
  • Entry criteria for Unite 4 Life awards

DLT State Team Members, Making a Difference

The Donate Life Texas State Team includes the organ, eye and tissue donation organizations throughout the state.  These dedicated employees of these organizations work hard behind the scenes to ensure donations become the gift of life for those waiting and a heroic legacy for those who donate.

In celebration of their supporting role, Dignity Memorial is sponsoring a special recognition opportunity on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float.   Each organization received a certificate and commemorative rose vial to share with their team.

On December 29th, all Donate Life Texas State Team organizations will be represented during a rose placement ceremony as donation officials place honorary Making a Difference roses on the actual float.

All of us in the donation community honor Donors as the ultimate Heroes that make lifesaving transplants possible.  It is their selfless, generous act that saves lives. Here, Donate Life Texas asked each organization to share a special moment or story from the past year to give us the chance to recognize the often-unseen men and women of the DLT State Team organizations who also Make A Difference in 2017.


GenCure

In May, families gather outside the BioBridge Global Donor Pavilion to remember loved ones during a dedication ceremony for the GenCure Legacy Garden.  This special space is a memorial to those who have died and a place for the grieving to find comfort.

During the dedication ceremony, families were invited to share stories of their late loved ones and write personal messages on stones to be placed in the Garden. While some featured Bible verses and others were adorned with drawings, they all showcased extensive love for those they commemorated.  The celebration concluded with a symbolic watering, allowing the garden to serve as a lasting tribute to the lives honored within it.

The Legacy Garden continues to be a source of connection with loved ones who have died and with others who are traveling on a grief journey.

 


United Tissue Resources

In 2017, donors from all over Central Texas allowed United Tissue Resources to make a difference in the lives of approximately 6,000 recipients of allograft tissue.

During the Donate Life ECHO Observance, our Community Engagement team worked with community leaders and local media, to increase awareness of the need and impact of continued donor registration in multi-cultural communities. Our “Hope for the Holidays” event, provided donor families with resources for coping with feelings of loss and loneliness during the holidays.

We move into 2018 with renewed excitement and optimism, as to how we might continue to make a difference for the families we serve!

 


Transplant Services Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center

TSC chose to share an event highlight as their Making a Difference moment.  Jaeda has seen a lot in her 13 years.  In just the past two years, she has lost two brothers, both of whom became donors.  This year, Jaeda spoke before a gathering of hundreds of donor family members about her love for them and what their legacy of life has meant to her.

Wise and poised beyond her years, she said: “Hi, my name is Jaeda and today I’m going to tell you about my brothers.  Ruben was 17 when he passed away; he loved football.  Ethan was 14 when he passed away and he loved horseback riding.  They were the best brothers!  I will always have them in my heart”

 

 


San Antonio Eye Bank

SAEB appreciates the opportunity to represent our community, donor families, recipients, partnering surgeons and staff on the 2018 Donate Life Float. We hope that as South and Central Texas cornea donor families view the float on parade day, they know that the Gift of Sight was made possible thanks to their loved one’s donations.

 

 

 

 


Southwest Transplant Alliance

Moved by the experience of losing her son Braxton, Melissa Howell has become a volunteer and donation advocate through Southwest Transplant Alliance.

To help others better understand the support offered to donor families, Melissa has worked with STA to record a video about her family’s experience.  This touching piece demonstrates the hope donation can bring in a family’s darkest hour by creating a lifesaving legacy.

 

 


LifeGift

Originally named the Gulf Coast Independent Organ Procurement Organization, LifeGift has evolved over three decades to serve the needs of the Texas donation and transplant community.  LifeGift has celebrated many firsts and several notable accomplishments in that time.

Read more on the LifeGift website.

 

 

 

A Mission to Make a Difference

On New Year’s Day, Dot Delarosa of San Antonio will represent Donate Life Texas on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float in the 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade.  Tune in to watch January 1st, 10 a.m. CST on ABC, NBC, Univision, HGTV, or the Hallmark Channel.

Let’s get to know Dot as she shares her story and how receiving the ultimate gift has made a difference in her life and all those she inspires.

Living Life
Born into a family of ministers, Dorothy “Dot” Delarosa had the heart to serve others. A vibrant young woman, by 36 years-old she had it all: A beloved preacher at her church, success, strong role models, and love. She was well on her way in her mission to make a difference.  Little did she know that soon her faith would be tested.

An Annoying Cough
It was during this time, Delarosa noticed an unusual cough that left her breathless when she spoke. As time passed, family and friends became concerned when they noticed Delarosa struggling to breathe, their persistence prompted her to seek answers from doctors. For years she was told she had asthma, then bronchitis, even with antibiotics, nothing was working! In 2008, it was time to see a lung specialist.

I really didn’t believe that I was sick…that is until one day I was pushing a cart at the grocery store and had to stop, my chest felt tight, I could not breathe.   — Dot Delarosa

The episode led to a visit with a pulmonologist. With X-rays in hand, her doctor said the words no one wants to hear, “You have 2-5 years to live unless you get a transplant.  Without it, you will die.”

In shock, Delarosa did not know what a transplant meant or could understand how a simple cough meant she would die. She went in for a lung biopsy and tests.  What should have been a short stay in the hospital turned to 26 days of surgeries, complications and a near-death experience.

The lung biopsy proved she was suffering from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IFP).  And, her only hope – the gracious gift of a new lung.

The Gift

The day I met my transplant team, my mom begged with tears in her eyes not to get a transplant because she was afraid I would die. I told her I’m going to die one day, so I might as well die fighting!  — Dot

With her lung capacity at only 25%, Delarosa was ready to fight for her life.  Eighteen months after being diagnosed, on June 7, 2010, Delarosa received the most precious gift ever received from the most generous person. A healthy, new lung.

A New Mission
The transplant was a turning point in her life. Today, Dot remains a minister at her church in San Antonio and serves on the Mayor’s Prayer Counsel, but with her first breath came a new mission to honor her donor, inspire hope to the 11,000 Texans waiting and share about the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation.

Because of this transplant, I LIVE. This gift has given me another day with my family, with my friends, with this world. I have been given TIME.  — Dot

Since 2010, Dot dedicates her time sharing her story through several notable organizations: Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA), University Transplant Center, San Antonio Eye Bank, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, and more. In 2014 she was awarded TOSA’s Joan Wish Volunteer of the Year Award for her volunteer efforts and last year, she made a video to help promote donation during the Donate Life National Donor Sabbath observance.

I’ve been given seven years of bonus Life.  In that time, we have signed up hundreds of donors, raised awareness and shared our story to millions of people.  I may be only one person, but there wasn’t a mistake when I was entrusted with this gift. I was given a new purpose to make a difference.  — Dot

 

Enjoy Dot’s video for the National Donor Sabbath

DLT: 10 Million & Counting!

Join the celebration of Our Major Milestone!

That’s right! The Donate Life Texas donor registry is celebrating the lifesaving commitment of 10 million Texans who have now joined the donor registry.

Since it was created in 2005, the Donate Life Texas (DLT) donor registry has been steadily growing thanks to generous Texans who understand the lifesaving difference each donor makes to the lives of those in need of a transplant.  Registering with DLT provides the legal consent for donation and is an easy and convenient way for people to make their decision to donate known after they pass away.

Building anything on this scale takes the work of multitudes of dedicated people. DLT relies several partners who each play a critical role in making donor registration easy and convenient.

Texas Lawmakers
The donor registry was created by and remains part of Texas state statutes. Since 2005, lawmakers from all over the state have supported responsible legislation that makes donor registration simple, straightforward and convenient.  Together, Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Dist. 21)  and Rep. John Zerwas M.D. (R – Dist. 28) have championed the most donor registry-related bills.

Texas Department of Public Safety, Driver License Division
Each and every Texan who applies for or renews a state driver license or ID card is given the opportunity to register with Donate Life Texas as a donor.  This single step relies on the support of thousands of DPS employees and is responsible for roughly 85% of all donor registrations.

Donor Family Members, Transplant Recipients, Living Donors & Other Advocates
From health fairs and community events to school rooms and beyond, an army of volunteer advocates are essential to educating the public about the need for donation and the importance of registration.

Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs), Eye and Tissue Banks
In Texas, 16 Donate Life Texas organizations perform the organ, eye and tissue recovery procedures. These dedicated professionals are also the ones who work closely with donor families to guide them through the process of their loved one’s donation.  LifeGift, Southwest Transplant Alliance and Texas Organ Sharing Alliance are founding members of the Donate Life Texas registry.

The Texas Transplantation Society
Each day, transplant centers across Texas are recommending increasing numbers of patients for transplants, giving these medical professionals a unique and personal perspective of the rising demand for donor organs.  The Texas Transplantation Society is a professional organization that serves as a resource and voice for the medical transplantation community statewide.  The TTS has been instrumental in developing the registry’s framework and continues to be an invaluable supporter of donor registration to this day.

10 million registered Texans is a lifesaving start.

In the first half of this year, 625 people have received organ transplants thanks to registered donors in Texas and thousands more have been given the gift of sight through cornea and ocular tissue transplants.  And, each year in the U.S., more than a million people receive donor tissue for a wide variety of medical needs ranging from orthopedic surgery to burn recovery.

Having 10 million registered Texans helps make these medical miracles possible, but we still have more to do.  With more people registered than ever before, many ask why the organ shortage continues. Unfortunately, the demand for transplants is rising faster than the number of donated organs, but not for the reasons you might think.

On the demand side, the growing prevalence of diabetes and heart disease have increased the number of people added to the transplant waiting list.  Thanks to medical advances, transplants have become far more common and have shown to be reliable treatments for more kinds of conditions than in the past.

On the donation side, very few things prevent organ donation, but how a person dies often makes donation impossible.  In fact, only about 1-2% of people die in ways that allow donation – causes such as a stroke or traumatic brain injury.  Of the 178,000+ people who passed away in Texas in 2013, only about 3,000 met the initial criteria to be considered for organ donation.  This number then drops even further if consent is denied or if the organs are not clinically viable for transplantation.

Donor registration matters!

Registering with Donate Life Texas records a person’s legal decision to be a donor so it can be known by the right people at the right time to save lives.  In the simplest terms, donor registration helps ensure that every transplantable organ can become a gift of life.

So, how can you help?

  • Register!
  • Talk with your friends and family about donation and encourage them to register.
  • Find a Donate Life Texas Organization in your area and become a volunteer advocate.
  • Make a financial gift to support the Donate Life Texas donor registry.
  • Share your Donate Life Story on the Donate Life Texas website.
  • When applying for or renewing your driver license or ID, tell the DPS office staff why donation is important to you.

Most of all, THANK YOU for registering to Donate Life!  Each of us are one in 10 million, but to the person waiting for a transplant, a Donor Hero is their one hope for a second chance at life.

DLT Honorees ride with NASCAR’s Joey Gase

On Sunday 11/5, NASCAR driver and Donate Life advocate Joey Gase took to the track at Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500 Monster Energy Cup Series race.  Gase’s Donate Life Texas #7 car featured photographs of 21 Donate Life Honorees – people whose lives have been personally touched by donation.  During the car’s unveiling event, each Honorees also applied painted handprints to the hood and trunk of the car as part of what has become a Gase tradition called “Handprints of Hope.”

Gase has partnered with Donate Life Texas since 2015 in an effort to increase organ and tissue donation awareness.  As the son of an organ and tissue donor and as a professional athlete, Gase has an ability to speak about the importance of registration in a personally compelling way to race fans in Texas and beyond.

For the more than 120,000 people currently awaiting an organ transplant in the U.S., this race was about more than to roar of the engines, it’s about hope. Each NASCAR fan inspired by Joey and the call to Donate Life brings us one step closer to a day when no one must wait for the transplant they need to survive.

Scroll down to enjoy photos, video and news coverage.

Donate Life Texas #7 Honorees, Fall 2017

maryjogase

 

 

 

Check out Donate Life Texas #7 in for a Pit Stop while the race was under a caution flag.

Enjoy news coverage of the unveiling event at Joshua High School, held on 11/2/17:

Donate Life Texas gives special thanks to the staff and volunteers of LifeGift and Southwest Transplant Alliance for support essential to making this event possible.  Event photos by Ralph Lauer.

National Donor Sabbath, Nov. 10-12

Donate Life Texas invites you to join in celebrating the National Donor Sabbath this November 10-12.  This national observance is a time for people of all religions to honor those who have given the precious gift of organ, eye and tissue donation. Every year during this special time, donation and transplant organizations work closely with faith communities to bring the message of donation to congregations nationwide.

Faith plays a significant role in the decision to register as a donor. All major religions support organ, eye and tissue donation, and believe it to be a final act of kindness and generosity. Many faith leaders focus on the gifts of hope passed to others by supporting donation and transplantation. Professionals in the health care community bring awareness to all worship groups across the nation.

While religions differ in many ways, the commonality among all of them is the sharing of positive, inspiring messages that instill hope.   The National Donor Sabbath provides an opportunity for faith communities to share their views and join in the conversation.

We invite you to share the resources below to carry the message of faith, hope and the blessing of donation.

Download these National Donor Sabbath graphics to post to your own social media or share with your house of worship for their website or social media.  Additional resources are available through Donate Life America.

Donor Sabbath Facebook Post

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2018 Donate Life Rose Parade Float – It’s About Time!

Each year, the Donate Life entry in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade inspires viewers as a stunning representation of the lifesaving power of organ, eye or tissue donation.

Click here to meet this year’s Donate Life Texas Float Rider, Dot Delarosa!

This year’s Donate Life Rose Parade Float entitled The Gift of Time reflects the parade’s theme of Making a Difference by celebrating the power of kindness and the generous acts of people throughout the world, who are making a positive difference in the lives of others. Perhaps no act is more emblematic of this than becoming an organ or tissue donor: a single organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and improve the lives of as many as 75 more by donating their corneas and tissue.

Celebrating its 15th year of participating in the parade, the Donate Life Rose Parade float is the centerpiece of a national effort of more than 50 organizations, including Donate Life Texas, to reach a broad audience with the simple, life-giving message that organ, eye and tissue donation saves and heals lives.

The Gift of Time float depicts a vibrantly colored, tropical backdrop that dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico.  It celebrates the gift of life as 16 costumed riders sit alongside the jungle, against stone carvings, drawing on the strength they have gained from their donors to continue and thrive on life’s journey.

The monumental Aztec calendar draws the eye to the center of the float, where 44 donors are honored with floragraphs. This ancient calendar is a reminder of the enduring, life-saving power of the generosity of donors and families.  Alongside the float, eight living donors and recipients will carry baskets of fruit and flowers in celebration of the renewed life they have shared with one another and the world.  The beauty, richness, and potential of life is represented by the vivid flock of macaws perched over the lush floral canopies, ready to take flight.

The Donate Life Rose Parade float is produced by OneLegacy and is made possible thanks to over 50 sponsoring donation, transplant, healthcare, and family care organizations and individuals who help make donation and transplant possible across the country, including Donate Life Texas and Dignity Memorial Houston who will each honor Texans on this year’s entry.  Please watch Donate Life Texas’ social media for exciting announcements.

Other Donate Life Rose Parade Sponsors include: American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), Alabama Organ Center, American Donor Services / VRL – Eurofins, ARORA, Axogen, CryoLife, Community Tissue Services, Dignity Memorial Las Vegas, Dignity Memorial New Jersey, Donor Network West, Donor Alliance, Gift of Life Michigan, Indiana Donor Network, Iowa Donor Network, JJ’s Legacy, Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency, Donate Life South Carolina / Sharing Hope of South Carolina / LifeShare Of The Carolinas, LifeShare OK, LifeSharing, LiveOnNY, LOPA, Midwest Transplant Network, New England Donor Services, NJ Sharing Network, OneLegacy, Promethera Biosciences, RTI, Trenton’s Legacy, UCLA, UNYTS and XTANT Medical.