“It Took A Lot Of Time, Patience, Support, And Love To Have
Our Son With Us And We Are Extremely Grateful.
Words Can’t Express How We Feel.”
- Sekou, Jabari’s father.
A Kind Community
In 2017, Donor Network West celebrated 30 years of saving and healing lives though organ, eye, and tissue donation. In the last three decades we grew from a few employees to 300, have developed novel business practices, and significantly expanded operations to better serve the vibrant communities in our 40-county donation service area.
Serving a large and diverse geographical area comes with its challenges but it also presents us with many opportunities to make a positive impact through our life-saving work. We are happy to report that, last year, we saw the largest number of donors in our organization’s history. This is a true indicator that the message of donation is becoming engrained in the heart and soul of the communities that we serve.
We are inspired by the donors and their families for making a donation decision to help others. Their kindness brings hope. We acknowledge our community partners, hospital partners, funeral homes, and coroners and medical examiners; their support and dedication are essential to ensuring those who choose to be a donor actually become a donor. As you read about our accomplishments in 2017, we also invite you to think about other ways we can partner together to make donation a reality for others moving forward. The waitlist is long and sadly, there are still deaths on the waitlist due to the lack of available organs. Let’s innovate together to give a future to those who are waiting for their healing gifts of life. To that end, we hope all will consider this…
Be Kind. Be Hope. Be a Donor.
Sean Van Slyck
Our Donation Service Area
When their daughter Lucy was only 10 days old, Ray and Yesenia Kimura of Martinez California were told that their baby’s life was in jeopardy.
The diagnosis was biliary atresia, a chronic liver disease that becomes evident shortly after birth. Fortunately, Ray was a donor match and when Lucy was a toddler, he saved her life by giving a portion of his liver.
Lucy is currently nine-years-old, in excellent health, and shining as a tournament softball player. She plays in the ten-year-old division of Universal Fastpitch, a premier travel softball organization. She has pitched in 27 games this season and faced 316 batters, striking out 163.
“Lucy is a star pitcher known for her 52-miles-per-hour fastball. She is doing very well and is a force of nature,” says a proud Ray.
Lucy will grow up knowing that kindness makes the world go round. It is the reason she is alive today.
Gifts of Hope
Haylee Ponte of Sparks, Nevada was an active young woman. She loved to ski, dance, and travel with family and friends. She was also a giver and volunteered her time at a local charity in Reno called Moms on the Run.
Haylee excelled academically and was a biochemistry student at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) in the hopes of becoming a physician.
“If your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough,” was Haylee’s favorite quote. But her hopes and dreams were sadly taken away when she died in 2015 as a result of an acute asthma attack; she was only 19.
Even in their grief, her parents – Nancy and David – were considering organ and tissue donation before they knew that Haylee had already registered as a donor when she applied for her driver’s license. Knowing that their daughter had made the decision herself was comforting to them, but not surprising because they knew how generous she was in life. Haylee went on to save three lives through organ donation and heal many others with her tissues. She gave HOPE.
Through her testimony, Nancy was instrumental in helping Nevada’s Senate Bill 112 pass. The bill requires organ and tissue donation to be taught in junior high and high schools in the state. With tears in her eyes, Nancy shared how meaningful it was for her that her daughter became a donor.
Registered Organ Donors* by Ethnicity (Total Donors: 307)
*First Person Authorization (FPA)
Transplant Waitlist by Ethnicity in our service area (Total waiting: 9,838)
Vince Cortez of Fresno, California had 20/20 vision. When he was 18 years old, his eyesight started to deteriorate rapidly and, by 22, he was having trouble reading road signs and couldn’t see the ball while golfing or playing softball.
He was diagnosed with keratoconous, a condition in which the cornea bulges outward and began using contact lenses.
As time passed, the lenses didn’t work anymore and his ophthalmologist informed him that a cornea transplant was the best solution. Vince received a double cornea transplant and, as a result, his vision improved to 20/40 without contact lenses and 20/20 with them on.
“They used to call me ‘Squints’ in college because I had to squint in order to see anything. It was amazing and life-changing to get my vision back. It felt as if I had super powers,” says Vince.
His gift of sight has also allowed him to pursue a career as a barber, which is his passion. He opened two barbershops within one year and is currently working on the third. This feat wouldn’t have been possible without his transplants. Even though Vince has enjoyed good fortune with his business, he is most proud of being able to coach his son’s baseball teams.
Operating Income: $84.8 M
Other Income: $0.8 M
Program Services: $76.7 M
Supporting Services: $8.1 M
Net Income: $0.7 M