Donate Life Illinois shifts to Gift of Hope

June 6, 2012

Since 2006, Donate Life Illinois has provided social media users with organ and tissue donation news, expert insight and engaging digital content. In that time, we built a community of more than 18,000 Facebook fans, created a Twitter presence of nearly 1,450 followers and developed dozens of YouTube videos with over 250,000 views.

Today, the Donate Life Illinois social media channels transitioned to the Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network brand. The newly branded sites for our respective social media channels are:

– Twitter: @GiftofHope
– Blog:
– Facebook: (old address, new look!)
– YouTube: (old address, new look!)

The look and names of these social media sites might be different, but the news, content and promotions will remain the same. Gift of Hope, in partnership with Donate Life Illinois, remains committed to creating a community of registered donors who are dedicated to building organ and tissue donation awareness across the country.

Keep an eye out for new features, promotions and news regarding Gift of Hope and our social media sites! To learn more about Gift of Hope, visit!

– Josh Muller, Public Relations/Marketing Coordinator, Gift of Hope


Illinois Partners with Donate Life America to Register 20 Million in 2012

January 11, 2012

We need your help to register 20 million Americans as organ and tissue donors in 2012!

Jessica Melore celebrated her 30th birthday on January 4, a milestone she wasn’t sure she’d live to experience. At 16, Jessica received a lifesaving heart transplant. Her story of hope and survival helps to launch Donate Life America’s bold new initiative: “20 Million in 2012.

Donate Life America — the national organization promoting organ, eye and tissue donation in the United States – designed its “20 Million in 2012” initiative to focus on dramatically increasing the number of people registered in state donor registries. This official launch of the campaign comes on the heels of DLA’s announcement during the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena  where it has sponsored the Donate Life float each year since 2004. This year’s float again featured inspirational stories of organ donors and their families, a tradition that the “20 Million in 2012” campaign will continue as it features powerful stories of people affected by organ, eye and tissue donation.

“I am so proud to be a part of the campaign’s “I am HOPE” storytelling project,” says Melore. “Real-life stories like mine often inspire people to sign up to be organ, eye and tissue donors.”

By registering your decision to be an organ and tissue donor, you can give hope to more than 112,000 Americans—more than 5,000 Illinoisans—waiting for lifesaving transplants. “We are committed to saving and enhancing as many lives as possible through organ and tissue donation,” says David Bosch, Director of Communications for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, which coordinates organ and tissue donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana. “Nearly 6 million Illinois residents have registered their decisions to save and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation. In 2012, we hope to inspire and motivate thousands more to make this ordinary decision that can produce extraordinary results.”

Gift of Hope and other Donate Life Illinois coalition members will support the “20 Million in 2012” campaign’s four featured national events:

  • The Donate Life Flash Mob on March 24
  • Donate Life Blue and Green Virtual Fashion Show on April 20
  • Donate Life Champions in Fall 2012
  • Donate Life Linking Hands for Life being held all year long

For more information about the “20 Million in 2012” campaign, visit To register your decision to be an organ and tissue donor in Illinois, visit

2012 Donate Life Rose Parade Float

December 23, 2011

It’s that time of year when Donate Life America partners with the Rose Parade to build organ and tissue donation awareness across the United States. Each year since 2004, Donate Life has entered a float in the Rose Parade which takes place annually on (or near) New Year’s Day in Pasadena. The partnership with the Rose Parade has inspired countless Americans to register their decisions to save lives through organ and tissue donation.

Rendering of 2012 Donate Life Float

This year, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network is honoring Francisco “Paco” Rodriguez by sending his family to Pasadena to participate in Donate Life Float activities from December 28th until January 2nd. Paco’s family will help decorate the Donate Life Float, network with donor families and recipients, and spread organ and tissue donation awareness. Alex Rodriguez, Paco’s brother, will even ride on the Donate Life Float during the Rose Parade!

Sonia, wife, and Ginette, daughter, put the finishing touches on Paco's floragraph.

From December 28th until January 2nd, the Donate Life Illinois team will be in Pasadena with the Rodriguez family sharing photos and updates on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtag #DonateLifeFloat on Twitter to see updates from Donate Life Illinois and, possibly, other Donate Life organizations.

Happy Holidays!

– Josh

Enter to Win Brad Paisley Tickets

September 19, 2011

Brad Paisley's latest album "This is Country Music"

Calling all Brad Paisley fans! We have FOUR pairs of tickets to see Brad Paisley live on Wednesday, September 21st at Joe’s Bar in Chicago. And we are giving them away to our amazing Donate Life Illinois fans and followers.

Winning a pair of tickets is easy! All that you need to do is post the following phrase as your Facebook status:

I am a registered organ donor. Are you? More than 110,000 Americans are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants. Register in 30 seconds at!

Once you post this status, visit the Donate Life Illinois Facebook Page and leave a message on our wall notifying us that you’re awesome and updated your status with the above phrase.

Four winners (each receiving two tickets) will be selected at 12pm CDT on Tuesday, September 20th. Entrants must post a message on the Donate Life Illinois Facebook Page stating that they updated their status. Winners will be posted on the Donate Life Illinois Facebook Page and contacted by a Donate Life Illinois representative to coordinate ticket pick up.

Not a registered organ and tissue donor? Visit to register and save lives!

Mark Your Calendars for the 15th Anniversary of National Minority Donor Awareness Day

July 28, 2011

August 1 is the 15th Anniversary of National Minority Donor Awareness Day.

Alonzo Mourning on National Minority Donor Awareness Day

Minority populations in the United States, particularly African-Americans, are disproportionately affected by illnesses that can lead to the need for organ, tissue or eye transplants. In Illinois, nearly 5,000 people are on the organ transplant waiting list. Nearly 40 percent of these people are African-Americans, most of whom are waiting for a donor kidney.

Many of the conditions leading to the need for a transplant, such as diabetes and hypertension, occur with greater frequency among minority populations. National Minority Donor Awareness Day, observed annually on August 1, seeks to raise awareness of the urgent need for donors and transplants within the multicultural community. A secondary goal is to educate the public about donation facts and how to register their decision to donate life.

According to data from Donate Life America, minorities make up many of the people who receive organs but very few of those who donate. In 2010, 5,963 African-Americans received organ transplants, but only 2,089
African-Americans were donors. In the same year, 3,795 Latinos received an organ transplant, but only 1,953 Latinos were donors.

Although ethnicity and race are not determining factors in who receives donated organs, the success rates of transplants increase when organs are matched between members of the same ethnic and racial group. Lower donation rates among minorities can result in longer waiting periods for transplants for minority organ recipients. Currently, minorities make up 55 percent of the 111,000 people on the transplant waiting list in the United States.

Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Howard K. Koh and Founder of National Minority Donor Awareness Day, Dr. Clive O. Callendar

Individuals and organizations across the country are celebrating the 15th anniversary of National Minority Donor Awareness Day. Take this opportunity to build awareness within your home and your community. Share your decision to give life through organ and tissue donation.

In Chicago, Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network will host a press conference at Mt. Sinai Hospital to encourage all minority groups to register as organ and tissue donors.  Navigate to the full press release for additional details.

Take 30 seconds to register as an organ and tissue donor at!

Donate Life Hollywood Films

July 19, 2011

Each year, Donate Life Hollywood issues grants to filmmakers to assist them with their efforts in creating films that promote organ and tissue donation.  These films are featured as part of the Donate Life Hollywood Inspire Awards and one of them is declared the Donate Life Film of the Year.

In 2010, there were six grants given to filmmakers from across the country.  The Donate Life Filmmakers successfully captured the stories of hope, generosity, transformation and love that define Donate Life.  Their films are featured below.

Let us know which film is your favorite by leaving a comment.

Amanda’s Caretaker

By Matt Radecki

Dear Donor: A Toronto Story

By Luke Mines

Function v Emotion

By David Urbanic

Give Hope

By Demetrius Navarro

Dinner Table Talk

By Paul Madsen


By Erin Staub

Are you a registered organ and tissue donor? Take 30 seconds to register your decision to be a lifesaving organ and tissue donor at

Donate Life Illinois Summer Giveaways

July 1, 2011

Week One Video for Donate Life Illinois Summer Giveaways

Are you a fan of Donate Life Illinois on Facebook? If not, this summer is a great time to join.

Here at Donate Life Illinois, we believe our Facebook fans are some of the best in the world. So, we’ve decided to reward them by giving away seasonal prizes all summer long—water bottles to stay cool, CDs to rock at the beach, T-shirts to soak up the sweat and cinch bags to carry hold all your giveaways.

So, how do you win? It’s easy!

First, become a fan of Donate Life Illinois on Facebook. Second, join the Donate Life Illinois Summer Giveaways event page. And, third, post a YouTube™ video from Donate Life Illinois with a short personalized message (Example: Register your decision to be an organ/tissue donor at and let us know you’ve done it by posting on our wall.

It’s that simple! New videos and prizes will be posted weekly throughout the summer. Be sure to look for updates on the Donate Life Illinois Facebook page and the Summer Giveaways event page.

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