LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OneLegacy, the Los Angeles-based nonprofit organ procurement organization dedicated to saving and healing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation, announced today a record number of organ donors in 2018, surpassing the previous mark set just a year earlier.
Thanks to the generous acts of people committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others, OneLegacy reported 515 organ donors resulting in 1,519 lifesaving organ transplants, increases of 6 percent and 10 percent, respectively, over the previous year. In addition, OneLegacy fulfilled 2,893 individuals’ wishes to be tissue donors, which resulted in more than 150,000 tissues transplanted. OneLegacy also recovered, processed and transplanted 1,295 corneas (an increase of 7.6 percent over 2017) as the only full-service eye bank in Southern California that processes and distributes the full range of corneal grafts to hospitals, surgeons and patients locally, across the country and around the world for planned and emergent surgeries.
“In the years since 2000, OneLegacy and the people and communities of the greater Los Angeles area have increased organ donation by 95 percent. This near doubling has been made possible through the dedicated work of our staff as well as our relationships with the hospitals, coroners’ offices and transplant centers within our service area,” said OneLegacy CEO Tom Mone. “But more than anything, this growth is a remarkable sign of the community’s generosity as more and more people become aware of the power of donation to heal the lives of those receiving transplants and of those families who help to make the gift of life possible.”
OneLegacy’s record-setting year is enabled by a state and nationwide trend of increased donor registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles, with California’s donor registry holding more than 15 million registrants and the national registry now at more than 150 million. Still, there are more than 113,000 Americans waiting to receive a lifesaving heart, liver, lung, kidney and/or pancreas. OneLegacy is working hard to lessen these numbers through collaboration with more than 200 hospitals; 11 transplant centers; multiple sheriff/coroner departments; and hundreds of funeral homes, community groups and schools to educate and encourage people to register and say “yes” to organ, eye and tissue donation and by collaborating with national leaders to ensure that organ allocation policies benefit those in greatest need and benefit.
The year just concluded also witnessed the opening by OneLegacy of California’s first dedicated Transplant Recovery Center. Located in Redlands, this modern center enabled over 1,000 donor recoveries that saved and healed more than 75,000 lives through its state-of-the-art recovery suites and procedures that allow for greater utilization of donated tissues and timelier organ recovery and transplantation.
Also in 2018, OneLegacy expanded its services to orthopedic patients in need through its new commitment to provide fresh, “living” cartilage to the nonprofit JRF Ortho. This cartilage, which can be used by surgeons throughout the world, will allow more people to walk and will allow young athletes to more easily continue to pursue their passion.
“The fact that more than three-fourths of those who medically can be donors are actually donating here in Southern California tells us that our message is getting through,” said Mone. “Still, we know that we have a lot of work left to do in spreading this message of hope.”
To help raise awareness of the need for more donors, earlier this month, for the 16th consecutive year, OneLegacy produced the Donate Life float in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The Donate Life float is the world’s most visible campaign to inspire organ, eye and tissue donation, with as many as 900 million impressions (views) each year. A few months earlier, OneLegacy hosted nearly 1,300 healthcare professionals at the nation’s largest Organ Donation and Transplantation Symposium where professionals gathered to share best practices and discuss ways to raise public awareness of the importance and power of being a donor.
Individuals can learn more about organ donation and can register to be a donor at their local DMV or online through donatelifecalifornia.org.
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving and healing lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. Serving more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers and a diverse population of over 20 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world, enabling 150,000 transplantations each year. For more information, visit onelegacy.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.