Transplant recipients share life-saving stories as part of Donate Life Month April 05, 2017

(San Antonio, TX – April 5, 2017) – The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio celebrates Donate Life Month by asking San Antonio residents to register as organ donors and potentially save lives. At today’s Donate Life event, physicians, nurses, patients, and Associates joined Texas Organ Sharing Alliance, Gencure, the San Antonio Eye Bank, and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center in sharing the benefits organ donations create for those awaiting transplants in our community.

David James Trujillo, Jr., a San Antonio teacher, spoke of the generosity of a bone marrow donor who helped him overcome his acute lymphocytic leukemia when he was a young child.

“Don’t be scared to get your cheek swabbed and save a life,” said Trujillo. “It saved mine.” The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is home to the Harvey E. Najim Blood & Marrow Transplant Center, designed specifically for children and teens undergoing BMT treatment by minimizing their exposure to outside harmful germs and toxins while allowing patients some measure of freedom to leave their rooms to interact with family and friends.

“Registering to become a bone marrow donor is the first step to saving someone’s life,” said Dr. Veronica Jude, who leads the Hospital’s BMT program. “Every day patients, both adults and children, are diagnosed with blood cancers or other blood disorders that can be cured with a stem cell transplant. Please consider being that cure for someone who needs you. It’s the most important gift you will ever give.”

"For many patients suffering from a life-threatening blood disease or disorder, a bone marrow or stem cell transplant may be the only hope for a cure," added Jon Hudson, community engagement lead at GenCure.

Currently, 54 percent of U.S. adults are registered organ, eye, and tissue donors, and 47 percent in Texas. Yet the number of people in need of transplants continues to outpace the number of organs donated.

Today, Associates, physicians and Donate Life representatives placed pinwheels in front of The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio to highlight how registering to donate can help save
lives.
“Pinwheels are also symbolic of transformation, turning obstacles into opportunities,” said Clarissa Thompson with the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance. “The image of the pinwheel reminds us that we all have the potential power to save and heal lives. This April, we encourage you to watch the pinwheels transform the breeze into colorful motion, think of the lives touched by donation and transplantation and register to be a donor.”

“We continue our commitment to putting children first,” said Elias Neujahr, President, The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. “And we humbly ask the community around us to share in this endeavor by considering registering to become an organ donor.”