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Thinking globally, giving locally

Jenell Schwab / Sierra SunTruckee Town Clerk Judy Price and her sister Tracy Copeland enjoy a laugh at the ceremony honoring Truckee residents for self-registering with the Donate Life Organ and Tissue Transplant Registry. Copeland received a liver transplant in 1998 and continues to lead an active life.
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TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Dry eyes were in short supply in the effervescent crowd gathered outside the Truckee DMV on April 25.

The small, yet emotionally and spiritually buoyant crowd of organ donation advocates, organ recipients and DMV employees gathered on the chilly morning to celebrate Truckee as Californiaand#8217;s top city for checking and#8220;Yesand#8221; to organ and tissue donation.

With 53 percent of Truckee drivers self-registering, the town is well above the state average of 26.1 percent.

Mayor Joan Jones was on hand to present a proclamation to Truckeeand#8217;s DMV Field Office Manager, Verdella Anthony, who accepted the award on behalf of the entire DMV staff and the Truckee community at large. Town Clerk Judy Price was also present with her sister and liver recipient, Tracy Copeland.

Copeland received an emergency transplant in March of 1998, when, after experiencing sudden liver failure, she slipped into a coma. The operation saved her life, and today Copeland is healthy and athletic; she recently ran the Boston Marathon, coming in somewhere, she said, around 14,000th place.

and#8220;I feel truly blessed. I try to honor my donor, Terry Lee Snow, and his family at these athletic events,and#8221; Copeland said. and#8220;Itand#8217;s my calling now to reach out.and#8221;

On average, 18 people die every day in the United States, one every 90 minutes, while waiting for a organ transplant, according to the Sierra Donor Services statistics.

There are more than 113,000 people on the National Organ Transplant Waiting List. More than 20,000, or 18 percent, live in California, and about one-third of them will die before a donor can be found.

Families of potential donors nationwide refuse donations at a rate of about 50 percent, unless the deceased expressed his or her wishes beforehand, in which case, 93 percent of family members agree to donate a deceased family memberand#8217;s organs, said a Gallup Poll.

According to the Sierra Donor Services, one donor can supply a heart, two lungs, a liver, a pancreas, two kidneys and an intestine and#8212; saving up to eight lives. Additionally, tissue donation can improve up to 50 lives.

More information on organ and tissue donation can be found at the Sierra Donor Services website, http://www.gsds.org.


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