Be a Hero: Register as an Organ Donor

Losing her oldest son to a go-kart accident on his 12th birthday, Kathe Wilson turned unspeakable tragedy into giving life to others through organ donation. While at Renown Regional Medical Center, the family donated his heart, liver, kidney and pancreas through Donor Network West.

Being someone’s hero isn’t something we typically imagine when planning our advanced directives, but it is possible through organ and tissue donation. In recognition of April’s Donate Life Month, Renown Health and Donor Network West are encouraging individuals to register as organ donors.

Thanks to the generosity of organ donors and their families, thousands of people get a second chance at life every year. Through a partnership with Donor Network West, the federally-designated organ procurement organization for northern Nevada, Renown Health is encouraging individuals to register as organ donors with the DMV or online with Donor Network West and include these plans in their advanced directives.

“Although end-of-life discussions are never easy, they’re very important,” says Dawn Wilkerson, regional donation manager of Donor Network West. “Not only do these discussions ensure that your desires are known, they help save your family additional stress during a highly emotional time. And, for those awaiting transplants, these conversations can save lives.”


In 2016, 97 organs were recovered from 32 donors at Renown Regional Medical Center. This marked the highest number of organs recovered from donors at Renown Regional Medical Center to-date.

“If more people register as donors, more lives could be healed,” Wilkerson says. “Donor families tell us the decision to donate is much easier when they know their loved one’s wishes. Including organ and tissue donation as part of a medical directive and sharing this decision with family members plays an essential part in saving lives.”

To learn more about registering as an organ donor, please visit Donor Network West.