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Largest Organ and Tissue Donation Event in U.S. to Cap April's National Donate Life Month Observances
Date:4/8/2009

More than 7,000 Southlanders, Chikezie, Kris Jenner and Khloe Kardashian to Walk in Seventh Annual Donate Life Run/Walk, April 25, Cal State Fullerton

More Than 100 Southern California Mayors Sign DMV/Donate Life California Month Proclamations

LOS ANGELES, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Supporters of organ and tissue donation are raising their voices to inspire everyone to "Check Yes at the DMV" through a broad spectrum of programs across the Southland during National Donate Life Month in April. Capping the schedule is the seventh annual Donate Life Run/Walk at Cal State Fullerton on Sat., April 25, from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The largest Donate Life-themed community event in the nation, the Donate Life Run/Walk now includes support from Clear Channel Los Angeles radio personalities Valentine & Irma, Manny On The Streets, and Al B. Sure, who will be on stage and on the street with an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 walkers and runners. Other celebrities participating in the morning's events include "American Idol" favorite Chikezie, country singer Hunter Brucks, and reality TV stars Kris Jenner and daughter Khloe Kardashian, recently on "Celebrity Apprentice." Moss Adams LLP, the 11th largest accounting and consulting firm in the United States, has committed to be the presenting sponsor of the event for the next five years.

"California faces an uphill battle because 20% of all the patients on the transplant waiting list for the entire United States reside in our state," stated Tom Mone, chief executive officer and executive vice president of OneLegacy, the non-profit organ and tissue recovery agency serving the greater Los Angeles area and the largest such agency in the country. "With so many people in need in California, it is quite simply a matter of life and death that each of us sign up to become donors, and that we inspire others to do the same through events such as the Donate Life Run/Walk."

No one knows this better than Kathleen Hostert of Fullerton, who gave her kidney so that her husband, Craig, could survive kidney disease. Committed to helping the people they befriended at the kidney dialysis center, the Hosterts founded the non-competitive run/walk as a local community event in 2003. Their fitness event has since grown to include a family festival that attracts thousands of donor family members and transplant recipients from Santa Barbara and Bakersfield to Riverside and San Diego to inspire enrollment in the statewide Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry. The Hosterts have both left their prior professions to work full-time in the donation field with OneLegacy.

An opening ceremony begins at 8:15 a.m., followed by brief remarks from speakers including Chad Ponegalek, president of the Newport Beach Firefighters Association (honoring firefighter Kevin Pryor, who became a seven-organ donor in June 2008 after fighting wildfires in northern California); KIIS-FM's Manny On The Streets, tissue recipient; Greg Ashlock, president, Clear Channel Los Angeles; and Miryam Mora-Barajas, executive director of Donate Life California.

Teams include "Celebrating Scott Davis," (more than 200 people walking in memory of Huntington Beach resident Scott Davis, who became an organ donor after a skateboarding accident last year); "Team Christine," (employees of Kaiser-Permanente Anaheim in honor of Christine Cote, a 23-year old patient currently waiting for a liver transplant); and the Andrew Ennabe Foundation, (family and friends of 19-year old Andrew Ennabe of Rowland Heights, who was fatally struck by a drunk driver).

The event also features a "Circle of Life Garden" with more than 100 photograph-bearing signs honoring donors and recipients, the opening of eight baskets of doves in memory of loved ones, and the returning to donor families of six portraits of deceased donors that were featured on the 2009 Donate Life float in the Rose Parade.

The post-race Family Festival will feature more than 70 vendors, events for children, and an Adrenaline Rush Extreme Giant Inflatable Obstacle Course. Two BMX bikes will be raffled, along with a 2009 Ford Mustang, courtesy of Clear Channel and McCoy Mills Ford of Fullerton. The Mustang drawing will be held at noon with ticket sales limited to 500 at $100 each.

Many programs take place throughout the month to bring the need for donation to as many Californians as possible. Companies such as Clear Channel have implemented a Donate Life California "eCampaign" with the CEO sending three emails to all employees encouraging them to register as donors.

Focusing on local government, Donate Life Ambassadors and "Embajadores" have solicited DMV/Donate Life California Month proclamations from more than 100 mayors in support of donation. Participating mayors, many of whom will be in attendance at the Run/Walk, include Don Bankhead (Fullerton), Diane Martinez (Paramount), and Keith Bohr (Huntington Beach). In addition, the City of Long Beach, home to more than 55,000 registered organ donors, is flying a Donate Life flag for the month of April, joining Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Community Hospital of Long Beach, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Miller Children's Hospital (Long Beach), Huntington Hospital (Pasadena), Riverside Community Hospital and Riverside County Regional Medical Center as participants in the national Donate Life Flags Across America celebration.

Earlier in the month, donor designation outreach took place in a variety of communities with events in targeted Southland neighborhoods including Lynwood residents at Plaza Mexico, the Vietnamese and Asian communities of Orange County, an art walk in Riverside, and at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield. On-the-spot registry signups were occasionally accompanied by the high-energy sounds of the 104.3MYfm mobile van.

Costs to participate in the Run/Walk are $30 for runners and walkers, $20 for individual living donor/recipient, $20 per person for families of four or more, and $20 per person for Team Registration (10 or more team members required). There is no charge to attend other Run/Walk events. More information is available at www.donateliferunwalk.org.

OneLegacy is the non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation in the seven-county greater Los Angeles area. With 200 hospitals, 12 transplant centers and a diverse population of 19 million, OneLegacy is the largest of the 58 federally designated organ recovery agencies in the U.S. The agency is also the world's largest tissue recovery organization.

Those wishing to make the commitment to donate may register online at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or its Spanish-language counterpart, www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org. For more information, call OneLegacy at (800) 786-4077 or visit www.onelegacy.org.


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SOURCE OneLegacy
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