FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For all of April, Nonprofit Donor Network West is encouraging people to be an organ and tissue donor. The entire month is recognized as National Donate Life Month.
"In Fresno County alone we have 1,000 people on an organ transplant waiting list, so their lives are being put on hold while they wait for that second chance at life," said Marcella Corona with Donor Network West.
Corona said kidneys are the number one most needed organ in the Central Valley. Just one organ donor can save up to eight lives. A tissue donor, on the other hand, can enhance and save up to 75 lives.
"The difference it makes is people can go back to work, people can finish there careers, people can raise their children, people can take vacations," she said. "People can just enjoy everyday regular life."
She said they need more donors. Eryn Roberts is one, she is also an ambassador for Donor Network West. Her passion for giving started at a young age.
"I actually told my mom when I was 6 years old, I wanted to be an organ donor and found out pretty quickly that was not feasible at that age," she said.
Years later she was finally able to realize that mission. In 2017 she encountered someone on social media hoping to help their father find a kidney donor. It was a life-changing experience for her and the recipient.
"it has been amazing to see pictures of him being able to hold his grandkids and interact and live a healthy prosperous life," said Roberts.
She is now encouraging others to do the same. For her 30th birthday, she's organizing a blood drive and organ and tissue donor sign-ups. Her goal is to get at least 30 of each. The drive will be held this Thursday at 5 at Common Space during Arthop. You can register as a donor at Donor Network West's website or at the DMV.
Month of April recognized as Donate Life Month