Entertainment Industry and Organ Donation Community Unite to Save Lives

Donate Life Hollywood Reboots to Support Writers and Producers

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#donatelife–Hollywood can help save lives. That was the message at an event hosted
by Donate Life Hollywood (DLH) earlier this month. DLH is an initiative
of the national “Donate Life” community, including organ procurement
organizations, eye and tissue banks, transplant centers, and people
personally touched by donation and transplantation. DLH ran successfully
between 2008 and 2012 and re-launched this year to increase the number
of authentic and positive organ, eye and tissue donation stories on
television and film by providing resources to writers and support to
filmmakers, free of charge.

“Research shows that when television shows perpetuate myths about
donation, they cost lives,” said Tenaya Wallace, DLH founder and
campaign director. “Donate Life Hollywood nearly eliminated myths and
misconceptions that were rampant on television before the campaign’s
initial run, things like a black market or rich people buying an organ.
With a new crop of medical shows and an explosion of content, we are
seeing Hollywood’s bad habit return; so Donate Life Hollywood is back.”

At DLH’s reboot event sponsored by OneLegacy, the largest organ
procurement organization in the United States serving seven counties in
Southern California, writers, producers and actors gathered with
transplant recipients, donor families, donation professionals and
transplant surgeons to relaunch the DLH campaign and celebrate the power
of media to bring awareness and action to this cause.

“While television shows will never be completely accurate, good writers
strive to be as authentic as possible,” shared Aaron Mendelsohn, DLH
supporter, screenwriter and board member of the Writers Guild of America
West during the relaunch event. “We work very hard to imbue our
characters with genuine and truthful voices, whether they’re autistic or
ego-maniacal doctors or a patient waiting for a transplant. Having
access to DLH and their vast network of experts, medical innovations and
poignant stories will make our writing more authentic and our stories
more compelling.”

During its original tenure, DLH supported many medical dramas, including
an emotional organ donation storyline in the series finale of ER. In
2009 DLH built a partnership with CBS and “Three Rivers,” a medical
drama about transplant surgeons, that led to a 6 percent increase in the
public’s willingness to register as donors, the largest single-year
increase the Donate Life community has ever seen.

“Storytellers influence how people understand and support organ and
tissue donation,” said Tom Mone, CEO of OneLegacy. “Because the
opportunity to donate is very rare, with only half of 1 percent of
people dying in a way that is viable for organ donation, we need
everyone who can donate to say yes to donation. Hollywood tells dramatic
stories. When they tell the real-life stories of organ donation, it
inspires people to say yes and helps us save lives.”

Beyond providing free expert consultation for writers, DLH supports
documentary filmmakers and independent producers with resources and
access to the donation and transplantation community. At the relaunch
event, DLH featured five new projects in various stages of development
that DLH is assisting in distinct ways. These projects include three
documentaries, a scripted series called “(Sorta)
,” written and produced by two-time double lung recipient
Travis Flores, and a docu-drama series co-produced by a heart recipient.

“After being at the Donate Life Hollywood event, I believe more
passionately than ever in the role media can play in making a difference
in organ donation,” said Carl Kurlander, producer of “Burden
of Genius
,” one of the projects highlighted at the DLH event. The
documentary tells the fascinating story of legendary transplant pioneer
Dr. Thomas Starzl. Kurlander is also the co-screenwriter of “St. Elmo’s
Fire” and writer/producer of the “Saved by the Bell” franchise. “After
every screening of ‘Burden of Genius,’ audience members would tell us
they were changing their organ-donation status because of the
film. Being a part of the Donate Life Hollywood community, I see how not
only our film, but other media can be used to change the way organ
donation is perceived in the world. That is something that truly builds
on the legacy of Dr. Starzl.”

For expert consultations, production support, or to learn more about
DLH, contact Tenaya at twallace@onelegacy.org
and follow us on Twitter at @DL_Hollywood.

About Donate Life Hollywood

Donate Life Hollywood (DLH) has a network of experts available for free
consultations on all aspects of organ, eye and tissue donation and
transplantation. Working with DLH you will have unique access to
everyone from nationally renowned transplant surgeons to families whose
loved ones became an organ donor. DLH can share compelling real-life
stories and give you insight on intriguing medical innovations. We look
forward to helping you tell authentic stories about the powerful and
transformative narratives that define organ, eye and tissue donation.

About OneLegacy

OneLegacy is the nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives
through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern
California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura,
Santa Barbara and Kern. Serving more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant
centers and a diverse population of nearly 20 million, OneLegacy is the
largest organ, eye and tissue recovery organization in the world. For
more information, call OneLegacy at 800-786-4077 or visit onelegacy.org.


Tania Llavaneras
213-503-9285 (cell) / 323-354-6619


I have been involved with publishing and marketing for the past 32 years. My passion is helping people share their voice. I am able to do this through two important venues: One, with Area-Info.net where people can share everything from opinions to events to news. It is your choice! What do you want to share? Two, through a new program called America's Real Deal I am involved with to help business owners get their voice heard.I schedule speaking engagements with community groups and business groups to share my passion about the importance of "sharing your voice".Contact me directly at lee@leeeverton.com for scheduling information.