There's a serious deficit in Stanislaus County, and it's not the budget.
By the end of 2011 there were about 450 Stanislaus County residents in need of life-saving organ transplants, 60 people in Turlock alone. Last year only 49 residents in the entire county received a transplant. Nationally, 18 people die every day waiting for an organ.
On Thursday Modesto's Memorial Medical Center will team up with California Transplant Donor Network to highlight the disparaging deficit during a Donate Life Flag Raising.
Modesto resident Sharon Sumner, 61, will speak at the event about the importance of transplants. At birth Sumner wasn't expected to survive due to heart problems. Throughout her life she battled heart issues but she later married and raised two children. Eventually her heart problems took over, but her life was saved by a heart transplant.
The flag raising is scheduled to begin at 10:20 a.m. in the front of the hospital at 1700 Coffee Rd. in Modesto.
Anthony Borders, communications specialist for the California Transplant Donor Network, said that many people just need to be reminded about the importance of becoming an organ donor.
"It just takes five minutes online and you're in the registry forever," he said.
To register for donation visit http://www.ctdn.org/.