The city of Indio is inspiring organ and tissue donor registrations by proclaiming the month of April as "Donate Life Month."
Across the country 122,000 people are waiting for to receive an organ.
"We're talking about people that are on their death beds, that are going to die without that transplant. You can make the difference," said Donald Kagan, kidney recipient and Donate Life Ambassador to the city of Indio.
One organ donor can save up to eight lives with their heart, kidney, lungs, pancreas, liver and small intestine.
"It's just such a simple process. The next time you renew you're drivers license at the DMV just check that little box that says 'yes, you're willing to ba an organ donor," said Kagan.
The waiting period for a transplant can be between 10 and 12 years. For those who are on the list, the wait time can seem much longer.
"I had to start dialysis, I had to be connected to a dialysis machine at home four times a day. Traveling was very difficult. I had to travel with the machine and with all kinds of liquid that I had to carry with me," Kagan said.
Then a miracle. Kagan received a kidney transplant in 2010.
"Within six months of receiving my transplant I could travel again, I went scuba diving again, I went skiing again. All kinds of things I could no longer do anymore. So it was absolutely life changing for me," said Kagan.
While Kagan works to encourage people to donate their organs after death, he received a living transplant from a friend. The day of the surgery his donor had a mango juice with pulp and they joke about it to this day.
"Then the doctors had to delay the process even farther. So we give him a bad time about that. We call him mango man." said Kagan with a chuckle.
Of the 122,000 people on the wait list, between 80,000 and 90,000 are in need of a kidney. You can become an organ donor the next time you renew your license at the DMV or you can go to DonateLifeCalifornia.org.
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