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April named DMV/Donate Life Month
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Senator Berryhill presents SR 71, a measure to designate April 2016 as DMV/Donate Life Month in California. - photo by Photo Contributed

A bill co-authored by Senator Tom Berryhill (R-Twain Harte) to recognize April as Department of Motor Vehicles/Donate Life Month in California was passed by the legislature Tuesday.

"We wanted to raise awareness of the need for donors and how simple it is to participate. By simply checking the box on your DMV renewal form you can potentially change someone's life," said Berryhill.

Berryhill is an organ recipient and understands the importance of donation.

"I received a heart transplant in 2001 and will be forever grateful someone said 'yes' to organ donation,” Berryhill said. “Ten years ago, I was involved in the effort to create the DMV/Donate Life registry and am thrilled to report it has grown to include more than 13 million people. It is now the largest registry in the world."

Donate Life California is a private, nonprofit entity created to administer the state-authorized organ, eye and tissue donor registry. Administered by California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ procurement organizations, the Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry enables Californians to personally authorize the donation of organs, tissue and cornea after death. The vast majority of designated donors sign up through the California Department of Motor Vehicles when they apply for or renew their driver license and/or identification card.

In 2015, Donate Life California and the four organ recovery agencies in California coordinated an estimated

953 organ donors with 43 percent of them having made their decision in advance through the state donor registry.

This resulted in more than 3,000 lives saved through personal authorization, according to Donate Life California.