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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
Set to release on October 3, the new book The Encore tells the remarkable true story of acclaimed opera singer Charity Tillemann-Dick, who received not one but two double lung transplants and went from struggling to draw a single breath to singing at the most prestigious venues in the world.
Charity Tillemann-Dick was a vivacious young American soprano studying at the celebrated Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest when she received devastating news: her lungs were failing, her heart was three and a half sizes too big, and she would die within five years. Inexplicably, despite her fatal pulmonary condition, she could still sing. Medical experts advised Charity to abandon her musical dreams, but if her time was running out, she wanted to spend it doing what she loved.
In just three years, she endured two double lung transplants. Teetering between life and death, she slowly learned to breathe, walk, talk, eat, and sing again. With new lungs and fierce determination, she eventually fell in love, rebuilt her career, and reclaimed her life. Over a decade after her diagnosis, she has a chart-topping album, performs around the globe, and is a leading voice for organ donation.
Weaving Charity’s extraordinary tale of triumph with those of opera’s greatest heroines, The Encore illuminates the indomitable human spirit. It’s the story of confronting devastating challenges with love: the intimate love of a mother for her daughter, a man for a woman, a doctor for her craft, and a singer for her music. Ultimately, grace from God and strangers enabled the work of love to save one young woman’s breath and allowed her to reclaim her life.
Learn more about The Encorehere and enjoy Charity’s 2011 Ted Talk below.
In 2016, the Texas Association of Student Councils (TASC) announced its statewide service project for the 2016-17 school year – Dare to Donate – a campaign to support the Donate Life Texas donor registry. At the recommendation of attendees at the State Steering Committee made up of advisors and students from across the state, the TASC Board of Directors designated donor registration and donor education to be a worthy challenge and an enduring legacy.
As a result, Student Councils across the state will be providing education and registration opportunities for students, parents and community members. We are proud to work together in this lifesaving campaign.
Educational initiatives may cover the rising need for transplants in the United States, the lifesaving difference donors make, and answers to the most commonly asked questions about donation and donor registration. Student Councils can also host donor registration activities designed to give students, parents, and community members the opportunity to join the Donate Life Texas donor registry. These activities will not be conducted during formal class time and participation is strictly voluntary.
TASC and DLT strongly encourage family discussion about donation to help family members make informed choices about the lifesaving option of donation and registering with Donate Life Texas. Texas law allows everyone to join the Donate Life Texas donor registry, regardless of age, gender, faith, ethnic or cultural background, country of origin or health status. Though those under age 18 can register of their own accord, parents have the final say about donation when a minor passes away.
Participating TASC schools (see below) will become charter members of Donate Life Texas’ new Unite 4 Life Partner program, an online resource program empowering individuals and organizations to create and host donor registration activities in their communities.
The 2016 TASC State Advisor of the Year from Texas High School, Susan Waldrep speaks about why this service project is so meaningful.
Participating TASC Schools as of 6/13/17
Americas High School (El Paso) – Supporter
Andress High School (El Paso)
Andrews High School – Gold Award
Anna High School
Austin High School (Sugar Land) – Supporter
Bastrop High School (Smithville) – Supporter
Benjamin O. Davis High School – Supporter
Blooming Grove High School
Brewer High School (Fort Worth) – Bronze Award
Burgess High School – Supporter
Canyon High School (New Braunfels) – Silver Award
Caprock High School (Amarillo)
Carroll Senior High School (Southlake) – Bronze Award
Carver High School (Aldine / Houston)
Cedar Creek High School – Supporter
Clear Creek High School – Bronze Award
Cypress Creek High School – Supporter
Deer Park High School – North Campus
Deer Park High School – South Campus
Del Valley High School (El Paso)
DeSoto High School – Supporter
Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School (Fort Worth)
Donna High School
DRAW Academy (Houston)
Dubiski Career High School (Grand Prairie)
Earl Warren High School (San Antonio) – Silver Award
East Lake High School (El Paso)
El Dorado High School (El Paso) – Supporter
Elsik High School (Houston) – Bronze Award
Episcopal High School (Bellaire)
Fossil Ridge High School
Franklin High School (El Paso)
Gatesville High School
George Bush High School (Richmond) – Silver Award
Hardin Jefferson (Sour Lake)
Harlingen High School – Supporter
Health Careers High School HOSA (San Antonio)
Henrietta High School
Hillsboro High School
Irvin High School (El Paso) – Supporter
Irving High School
John Marshall High School (San Antonio)
Jones Futures Academy (Houston) – Supporter
Kempner High School (Sugar Land) – Bronze Award
Kerr High School
Livingston High School – Bronze Award
Malakoff High School – Bronze Award
Manor High School
Manvel High School
Marshall High School – Bronze Award
Mary Carroll High School – Bronze Award
Memorial High School (McAllen)
Montwood High School (El Paso) – Champion Award
Naaman Forest High School (Garland)
New Braunfels High School – Supporter
Nikki Rowe High School (McAllen) – Bronze Award
Onalaska Senior High School
Ore City High School – Supporter
Palo Duro High School – Supporter
Pebble Hills High School (El Paso) – Supporter
Pecos High School
Pittsburg High School – Gold Award
Plainview High School
Progresso High School
Queen City High School – Bronze Award
Rains High School (Emory)
Ridge Point High School – Supporter
Robert E. Lee High School (Tyler)
Rowlett High School
Royse City High School
Shallowater High School – Silver Award
Socorro High School (El Paso) – Supporter
Spring Hill High School (Longview)
St. Pius X High School – Supporter
Teague High School – Gold Award
Texas High School (Texarkana)
Trinity High School – Gold Award
Troup High School – Supporter
Valle Verde ECHS (El Paso) – Bronze Award
Veterans Memorial High School (Corpus Christi) – Champion Award
Wink High School
Junior High Schools
Friendswood Junior High School
Marshall Junior High School
Onalaska Junior High School
Cathey Middle School (McAllen)
Ed Irons Middle School (Lubbock)
Lake Dallas Middle School
Longview Middle School
Macario Garcia Middle School Student Council (Sugar Land)
Quail Valley Middle School (Missouri City)
Bullard ISD – Supporter
Deweyville 5th Grade Student Council – Supporter
East Texas Christian School (Longview)
Hays Consolidated ISD
Lake Dallas ISD – Supporter
La Vernia Intermediate School (Stockdale)
Mount Pleasant ISD
Orangefield ISD – Supporter
PSJA Thomas Jefferson T-STEM ECHS (Pharr)
Sacred Heart Catholic School (Crosby)
Spring ISD Student Leadership Council
Student Legal and Mediation Services (Huntsville)
TASC District IX – Supporter
TASC District 14 – Supporter
UT Tyler Innovation Academy (Longview)
White Oak ISD
White Settlement ISD
Donate Life Texas is the nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Texans safely and securely document their donation decisions. The Donate Life Texas Registry is the only official donor registry in the state of Texas.