20-Year-Old NorCal Organ Transplant Recipient to Participate in the 2022 Rose Parade® on New Year’s Day
Donor Network West and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco to host send-off celebration Tuesday, Dec. 7 to encourage more people to register as organ donors
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) DECEMBER 7, 2021 – 20-year-old Selah Kitchiner, a liver transplant recipient from Antelope, CA has been selected by Donor Network West to ride on the Donate Life Rose Parade® float at the 133rd Rose Parade® on New Year’s Day. UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco and Donor Network West will host a send-off celebration event for Selah on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 1:30 p.m. at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus.
At just thirteen years old, Selah Kitchiner was diagnosed with liver failure. At the same time, her loving father was battling cancer for the second time. A month into fighting liver failure, she received the crushing news that her father had passed away. Two weeks after the loss of her father, Kitchiner received the life-saving call from UCSF that a liver was available for transplant.
As Kitchiner recovered, she continued to work towards her goal of being accepted into her dream college, the University of Southern California (USC), where she is now completing her degree in psychology on the pre-medicine track. Despite her challenging journey, Kitchiner has continued to thrive after receiving her liver transplant.
“I am extremely honored to be a float rider at the upcoming Rose Bowl Parade. I hope to be an example to everybody that’s going through something by showing there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that, regardless of the adversity in your life, you can still accomplish great things,” said Kitchiner. “I am beyond grateful for my transplant and all of the opportunities that I have been given, and plan on carrying on the legacy of all those who were not as fortunate as me.”
Donor Network West has helped facilitate the recovery of every lifesaving organ in northern California and northern Nevada for the past 30 years. The federally designated non-profit organ procurement organization is dedicated to helping provide people with a second chance at life through organ, eye and tissue donation for transplantation and research.
“Lifesaving transplants would not be possible without generous donors and their families, who, in the midst of tragedy find the courage to say yes to donation,” says Janice F. Whaley, President and CEO of Donor Network West. “Selah embodies this year’s Donate Life Float theme: Courage to Hope and we are proud to honor both Selah and her donor.”
Kitchiner was the first pediatric organ transplant patient at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus, which opened in 2015. As such, she bravely led the way for more than 150 children who have since received organ transplants at the campus.
“Selah is thriving in ways we hope to see all our patients thrive. She’s not only going to college and pursuing medical school, but is spreading awareness about organ donation and the impact it can have in people’s lives,” said Lisa Gallagher, MSN, UCSF liver transplant nurse practitioner and a member of Selah’s care team. “She’s an extraordinary person who holds a special place in the history of transplant at UCSF.”
There are more than 23,000 people awaiting a life-saving organ transplant in California alone, and more than 100,000 nationally. One organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people and a tissue donor can heal more than 75 others. Anyone can register to be an organ donor. To learn more and to register as an organ donor, visit DonorNetworkWest.org.
About Donor Network West
Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation and research. The organization was established in 1987 and is an official Donate Life organization accredited by the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) and the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Federally designated to serve 45 counties in Northern California and Northern Nevada, Donor Network West partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registries. For information, visit DonorNetworkWest.org and follow us on social media: @mydnwest.
The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) is exclusively focused on the health sciences and is dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advance biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. UCSF Health, which serves as UCSF’s primary academic medical center, includes top-ranked specialty hospitals and other clinical programs, and has affiliations throughout the Bay Area. Learn more at https://www.ucsf.edu, or see our Fact Sheet. UCSF Health’s organ transplant program is one of the largest and most highly regarded in the world. Since the program’s founding in the 1960s, it has grown to include transplants of the kidneys, liver, lungs and pancreas. Patient survival rates are among the highest in the country, despite treating some of the most seriously ill patients.