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DOWNEY - Downey resident Diane Linares will speak about her experience as an organ donor mother at the One Legacy Donor Remembrance Ceremony, taking place Saturday in Long Beach.
The ceremony is intended to give organ donor families the opportunity to honor loved ones and celebrate their decision to give the gift of life.
Linares' 31-year-old son, Brian Ellis, became an organ donor on Nov. 20, 2009.
His organs saved the lives of six people including a 12-year-old girl who received his heart; two women in their 60s each receive a lung; a 44-year-old man received his liver; and a teenage boy and a young mother of three received his kidneys.
"Although he no longer lives on earth as the young man we remember, he lives on in others, scattered across the states, a remembrance of his life in the hearts and minds of strangers who will never know him," said Linares.
Brian was honored with a floragraph (floral portrait) on the 2012 Donate Life Rose Parade float.
Since Brian's death, Linares has become an active advocate on behalf of organ donation and transplantation. This past August, she garnered an "Ambassador of the Year" award from Donate Life.
She has also created a Facebook page and an e-campaign with One Legacy to tell his story.
"It is a beautiful way to honor a life by offering hope to others," Linares said. "Several people have signed up as organ donors in his name."
Today, more than 115,000 candidates are on the national organ transplant waiting list. Largely due to the rarity of donation opportunities, only about 28,000 organs are transplanted each year.
As a result, 18 candidates die each day for lack of a donor.
To learn more about organ donation, go online to donatelifecalifornia.org.
Published: February 28, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 46