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Lifesharing is one of 58 regional non-profits dedicated to the life-saving and life-enhancing benefits of organ and tissue donation. Lifesharing provides organ recovery, donor family support, and educational services for the diverse population of approximately 3 million people in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Organ and tissue procurement services supply 28 donor hospitals and four local transplant centers with transplantable organs for the ever-growing waiting list of nearly 2,200 San Diego patients and more than 123,000 patients nationwide.

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inezbutterflyhq Saving Lives Through Organ and Tissue Donation Saving Lives Through Organ and Tissue Donation

Lifesharing Announces 2022 Nurse of the Year

 

Jaclyn (“Jackie”) Russe is Lifesharing’s “Nurse of the Year” and UC San Diego Health’s Nurse Consultant award winner. The accolades were announced during Nurses Week, which runs from May 6 – 12, 2022. In her position as a Lifesharing organ procurement coordinator, Jackie travels to hospitals throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. When a patient’s life cannot be saved, it’s Jackie’s job to try and save their organs. She uses her critical care skills to keep organs viable for transplant, while she searches for the best recipient match on the transplant waiting list. Jackie has saved countless lives by finding new homes for donated organs such as hearts, lungs, kidneys and livers. Jackie builds strong bonds with the families of our organ donor heroes — and she works tirelessly to ensure their loved ones live on through donation. Every year, Jackie honors our donors during Día de los Muertos.

Jaclyn Russe, 2022 Nurse of the Year
2022 Donate Life

April is Donate Life Month

April is National Donate Life Month, a celebration designed to raise awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation. This year’s theme is “Bee a Donor” — a concept inspired by the vital role that bees play in sustaining life. Bees are a small but powerful force, working together for the good of their community. This April, we invite you to be part of our community by registering as organ, eye and tissue donors. There are more than 106,000 patients on the national transplant waiting list and almost 2,000 of those patients live in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

2022 Done Vida

Lifesharing Sees Record Number of Organ Donors in 2021

Despite the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Lifesharing saw a record 146 organ donors last year. Thanks to these heroes, Lifesharing was able to save 413 lives through organ donation. To illustrate the magnitude of this, Lifesharing placed 413 roses in its memorial garden — one for each life saved in 2021. Lifesharing also carried out tissue donations for 405 selfless individuals last year. A single tissue donor can help dozens of people: heart valves can give life, skin can heal burn victims and corneas can give sight. The milestones achieved in 2021 were made possible by the generosity of San Diegans, the perseverance of Lifesharing’s team and the cooperation of numerous hospital and professional partners.

Lifesharing Saves Lives
2022 Rose Parade Donate Life Float

Donate Life Float named “Most Extraordinary” in the Rose Parade

A float honoring organ and tissue donors has won the Extraordinaire Award from the Tournament of Roses. Lifesharing was a proud sponsor of the 2022 Donate Life Rose Parade Float, which was recognized as the parade’s most extraordinary entry. The float featured the floral portraits of 35 organ and tissue donors, including Robert (“Robby”) Barksdale, Jr.    Barksdale was a San Diego sailor who saved five lives when Lifesharing carried out his organ donation in 2018. Several of the sailor’s family members made the journey to Pasadena to cheer the float as it carried his image down Colorado Boulevard. This year’s float was called “Courage to Hope,” and its design was inspired by the majestic winged lion of St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy. The float celebrated the courage of organ donors and their families.

San Diego Sailor to Represent Lifesharing on the Donate Life Rose Parade Float

Robby Barksdale Jr., Rose Parade Honoree

Lifesharing has chosen organ donor Robert (“Robby”) Barksdale, Jr., as its Rose Parade Honoree for 2022. His floral portrait will be featured on the Donate Life Float, which pays tribute to organ and tissue donors from around the country. Barksdale, Jr., was a brilliant, charismatic and generous young man who served as a Damage Controlman in the U.S. Navy. Assigned to USS Bunker Hill, Barksdale, Jr., was based in San Diego at the time of his death in 2018. He suffered fatal injuries as the result of a motorcycle accident and his family made the courageous decision to donate his organs. Lifesharing found matching recipients for his heart, kidneys, lungs, liver and pancreas. Barksdale, Jr., saved five lives as an organ donor hero.

Lifesharing is a proud sponsor of Courage to Hope, the 2022 Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Featuring the winged lion of St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy, the float celebrates the courage of organ donors and their families. You can watch the Rose Parade live on January 1, 2022 on select networks and channels.

2022 Donate Life Float

Robby's Family with his Floral Portrait

Robby’s family displays the floral portrait they created for him. Left to right: godfather Kevin Brooks, mother Shanteé Broussard and father Robert Barksdale, Sr.

Robby's Family Decorating the 2022 Rose Parade Float

Robby’s family decorating the 2022 Donate Life Float

Lifesharing Honors its Organ and Tissue Donors for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) 2021

Every year, Lifesharing creates a beautiful ofrenda (altar) to honor its recent heroes. Celebrated on November 1 and 2, Día de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday where it’s believed that the spirits of our deceased loved ones return to earth.

Lifesharing team members spend hours creating traditional sugar skulls for each donor — personalizing them in unique and beautiful ways. In this photo, Lifesharing organ procurement coordinator Jaclyn Russe, RN, creates a sugar skull in honor of organ donor Sara Michelle Herrera.

Lifesharing Lead Family Services Specialist Melissa Culver displays 19 hero medals – one for each life that was saved in a recent 48-hour period.

Lifesharing Saves 19 Lives in 48 Hours

In an extraordinary display of generosity, Lifesharing organ donors saved 19 lives in a period of just two days. This is a remarkable milestone for the San Diego region, because organ donation is a rare occurrence. Statistically, less than 1% of the population will die in a way that will let them become organ donors. Recently, our team managed six donor cases simultaneously — the number we typically see in a 2-week period. There was no medical reason for the high number of cases; we were able to save lives simply because six families said “yes” to organ donation. During this 48-hour period, Lifesharing nurses found matching recipients for 19 organs, including hearts, kidneys, lungs and livers. Our surgical coordinators then worked tirelessly to ensure each organ stayed healthy on the journey to the recipient.

August is National Multiethnic Donor Awareness Month

All communities are impacted by the organ shortage… and all communities are part of the solution. Throughout the month of August, there will be a nationwide effort to encourage people to register as organ and tissue donors. While it’s true that transplants can be successful regardless of the race of the donor and recipient, the chance of longer-term survival may be improved if both share a similar genetic background. Currently, there are more than 2,000 people on the transplant waiting list in San Diego, and almost 75% of them are from multi-cultural communities. During the month of August, we will be sharing the stories of our heroes on social media, in the hopes of inspiring more people to register as organ and tissue donors.

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Lifesharing Wins 2 Emmy Awards for Film Honoring Organ Donors

Lifesharing was a double winner at the 47th Annual Emmy Awards Program on June 3, 2021. The Pacific Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recognized Lifesharing for outstanding achievement in two categories: Video Essay and Branded Content. The film, “Remembering Our Organ and Tissue Donors for Día de los Muertos,” tells the story of the beautiful ofrenda (altar) that Lifesharing employees created in 2020 to honor recent donors. The stories of several heroes were also featured in the film. Lifesharing’s Public Relations Director Anne State received two statuettes for her photography and video editing on the film. Executive Director Lisa Stocks was also awarded a statuette for her role as producer. In their award acceptance speeches, both paid tribute to the profound generosity of Lifesharing’s heroes and donor families.

Lifesharing Helps Vaccinate Thousands at Petco Park

Lifesharing Vaccination Site

Lifesharing is proud to have been part of an amazing effort to keep the San Diego community safe from COVID-19. Our staffers routinely volunteered at the Vaccination Super Station from the day it opened until the day it closed. Lifesharing Executive Director Lisa Stocks served as Site Manager on several different occasions and our organ procurement nurses helped administer shots. Our tissue team and administrative staff helped run supplies, give directions and assist with other important tasks. As Lifesharing’s Clinical Supervisor Charles Wainaina explained, “The community at large has participated in organ donation. Basically, they have helped us save lives. So for us, this was a way of giving back to the community that has given us so much.” Our special thanks to UC San Diego Health, the Padres and the County of San Diego for spearheading this extraordinary health initiative.

Be Part of Lifesharing’s Memorial Rock Garden

Memorial Rock Garden


Dedicated in early 2021, Lifesharing’s Memorial Rock Garden is a peaceful spot under the trees where donor families can place stones in memory of their loved ones. The small garden is located in front of our offices in Mission Valley for all to enjoy.

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Lifesharing’s First Ever “Digital Day of Remembrance”

Lifesharing traditionally holds an annual memorial ceremony to honor its recent organ and tissue donors. This year however, COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the event due to the ban on mass gatherings. Still determined to honor our heroes, we instead created a film to honor our donors. It was officially released on October 23, 2020.

Art was not her only gift to the world

San Diegan Claire Tipler was an expressive visual artist who loved painting, photography and dance. When she passed away at the age of 21, she saved 3 adults and one child through organ donation. (Lifesharing found matching recipients for her heart, liver and kidneys.) Over the summer of 2020, Claire’s mother organized an art project in memory of her daughter and our team was humbled to take part. In this video produced by Lifesharing, Claire’s parents describe her passion for art and adventure and how organ donation helped them find meaning in the wake of their daughter’s death. In a second video for Lifesharing, Claire’s mother describes the organ donation process step-by-step, calling it “a sacred process.”

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Liz-Truxaw

Heart Recipient Invites Organ Donor’s Family to His Wedding

 

In the late 1990s, Chris Truxaw collapsed at school. A firefighter approached Christopher’s mother with tears in his eyes, as he explained that her son’s heart had stopped. Chris was eventually placed on the waiting list for a new heart at the tender age of 13. Without a transplant, doctors gave him only six months to live. Chris was getting weaker by the day — he was confined to a wheelchair and his skin was blue from a lack of oxygen.

And then, his family got the call — a matching heart had been found. The 10-year-old organ donor hero did what no doctor could do…. he saved Christopher’s life. A few years later, Chris honored his donor by competing in the 2002 Transplant Games. In a speech, he told the crowd: “He [the heart donor] freed me from my cell… I rose from the dead, able to rejoin humanity.”

Help Slow the Spread of COVID19

Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

 

COVID-19 vaccines are now being distributed in California, but we must all remain vigilant. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still urging people to wear masks in public, practice social distancing and wash their hands often. These measures are designed to “flatten the curve” and avoid a surge in hospital cases all at once.

Register to be an Organ and Tissue Donor Today!
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