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The Organ & Tissue Donor Registry that Steve Jobs Pushed for Opened Today

1. Cover, Steve Jobs Project kick starts today

Back in In October 2010, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that made California the first state in the nation to create a live donor registry for kidney transplants. The bill also required California drivers to decide whether they want to be organ donors when they renew their driver licenses. According to one supporter, this second measure alone should double the number of organ transplants available in California. This was a project that Apple's late Co-Founder and CEO Steve Jobs pushed hard to get done. The registry created by that bill opened today.

After an introduction from the hospital's president and a short speech from the governor, Steve Jobs stood at the podium and stated the following:


"Last year I received a liver transplant. I was very fortunate, because many others died waiting to receive one. Last year in California there were 671 liver transplants, but last year there were also over 3,400 people waiting for a liver and over 400 of them died waiting in California.


I was almost one of the ones that died waiting for a liver in California last year. I was receiving great care here at Stanford but there were simply not enough livers in California to go around and my doctors here advised me to enroll in a transplant program in Memphis, Tennessee, where the supply/demand ratio of livers is more favorable than it is in California here. And I was lucky enough to get a liver in time. As a matter of fact, this coming week is my one-year anniversary.


So why aren't there more organs available in California? Because in California, like most other states in the nation, you must specifically request to become an organ donor at the Department of Motor Vehicles when you're there to get or renew your driver's license. No one asks you if you want to become a donor. And there's no marketing campaign to make you aware of this opportunity, either, so unless you know about it and unless you specifically ask, nobody is going to ask you, nobody is going to give you this opportunity. And yet even with this obscure procedure over 20 percent of Californians have signed up to be organ donors, which is fantastic. But imagine what it could be if everyone knew of this opportunity.


And that's what the Governor's bill will do. It will simply require the DMV to ask you if you'd like to become an organ donor. That's it. Asking this one simple question may double the number of transplant organs available in California — one simple question. And that's a very high return on investment, especially for the over 20,000 Californians currently waiting for an organ transplant."



For more information about signing up as a donor, visit the Donate Life California website.



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