Donor Network West Publishes Children’s Grieving Book with Organ and Tissue Donation Emphasis

(San Ramon, CA) April 25, 2018 – Donor Network West, the federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization for Northern California and Nevada, announced the release of An Extraordinary Gift, a book intended to help children understand organ and tissue donation in light of the loss of a loved one.

As part of its mission to honor and respect the donors and families it serves with compassionate care, Donor Network West provides donor families with literature and resources to help support their grieving and loss, including materials for children.

The seven stories in this new book – authored by Gwenn Silva and Clea Vannet, with illustrations by Carrie Anne Bradshaw- is the culmination of several years of development.  During this time, the Family Services team of Donor Network West conducted research on the literature available on the topic of grief in children focused on donation, facilitated focus groups with children in its service area to gauge their understanding of donation, and created the stories.  Ms. Silva serves as the organization’s Manager of Family Services and Ms. Vannet worked as a Donation Process Specialist in the Family Services department.

“A family grieving together can offer children a way to express any emotions they may be having such as sadness, anger, fear or relief. Our hope is that this book will help children begin the healing process by supporting them through their grief and loss in a way they feel safe,” says Ms. Silva.

An Extraordinary Gift’s initial print run was 1,ooo copies, which are available to Donor Network West staff for distribution. The organization has since made the publication available to the public.

Ms. Silva will officially introduce the book nationally to the thousands of organ and tissue recovery field professionals that that will gather at the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO) Annual Meeting to be held in the Washington, DC area in June.

donor network west an extraordinary gift children's book
"An Extraordinary Gift" by Gwenn Silva and Clea Vannet, with illustrations by Carrie Anne Bradshaw.

There are nearly 10,000 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant in the 40 counties served by Donor Network West. 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 as a donor at or at the DMV.

About Donor Network West
Donor Network West saves and heals lives by facilitating organ and tissue recovery for transplantation. 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 40 counties in northern California and Nevada, Donor Network West partners with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the state-authorized donor registries. For information, visit and follow us on social media: @mydnwest