LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tenaya Wallace, founder and director of Donate Life Hollywood, has been honored by the Ava’s Heart Foundation as one of the “pioneers and visionaries in the field of organ donation and transplantation.” The tribute to Wallace took place at the Ava’s Heart 4th annual Heroes Ball in Beverly Hills earlier this month.
Donate Life Hollywood serves as a liaison between the organ donation community and the entertainment industry with the goal of seeing more authentic and empowering stories about donation and transplantation. Wallace founded the initiative in 2008, which successfully ran until 2012 and which was relaunched last year to increase the number of positive organ, eye and tissue donation stories on television and film by providing resources to writers and support to filmmakers.
Wallace began working in the field of organ donation in 2002 when she joined OneLegacy, the largest organ procurement organization in the United States. She created the OneLegacy Ambassador program, which has since trained thousands of volunteers touched by donation on how to inspire others to donate, and later served on the organizing committee of Donate Life California, which launched the state’s donor registry. Wallace helped advance the Donate Life message nationally as a founding committee member of the Donate Life Rose Parade float and served on the board of Donate Life America where she helped develop national Donate Life Blue and Green Day, now celebrated each April as part of Donate Life Month.
Ava’s Heart was founded in 2011 by heart transplant recipient Ava Kaufman. Its foundation is dedicated to providing resources and refuge that insurance does not cover to transplant patients and their families who are unable to access or afford needed treatments and care. Since its founding it has helped over 200 families, the majority of those with post-transplant housing. More information can be found at avasheart.org.
OneLegacy Foundation, which is the lead sponsor of Donate Life Hollywood, has been an ongoing supporter of Ava’s Heart; and earlier this year it awarded a $150,000 sustainability grant to the Ava’s Heart Foundation. Ava’s Heart provides critically needed assistance to transplant patients and their families who might not otherwise be able to receive a transplant and to those whose loved ones have given the gift of life and need follow-up assistance. This marks the fourth consecutive year that the OneLegacy Foundation has supported the work of Ava’s Heart.
“Ava’s Heart recognizes the importance of educating the public as to the challenges families face, both pre- and post-transplant, and to promote organ donation,” said OneLegacy Foundation CEO Tom Mone. “That all begins with the public understanding how organ, eye and tissue donation actually work and the incredibly powerful and positive impact it has on both donor families and recipients. That is what Donate Life Hollywood is all about as well, which is why we are so pleased to applaud Tenaya’s richly deserved honor, saluting her vision, tenacity, leadership and hard work in dispelling myths and encouraging positive storytelling that inspires people to say yes to donation and in doing so help save lives.”
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving 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 nearly 20 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world. For more information, call OneLegacy at 800-786-4077, or visit onelegacy.org.