Photo courtesy SISD
A special guest speaker spoke with groups of seniors at Montwood High School about the importance of being an organ donor on National Donor Day, which is celebrated annually on February 14.
The school, in partnership with the Southwest Transplant Alliance, invited guest speaker Rene Moreno Sr. to discuss his late son’s legacy of saving lives through organ and tissue donation.
“I’m here to keep my son’s memory alive for what he did,” said Rene Moreno Sr. “My son became an organ donor at the age of 16. He was just an amazing kid.”
Rene Moreno Jr., who died of a brain tumor, saved six lives through organ donation and helped save and enhance 50 more lives through tissue donation.
“We just want everyone here at Montwood to be a lifesaver,” said student body secretary Jinelis DeJesus. “As we go out into the world, I feel like we need to be educated about being an organ donor and how it can save many lives.”
The Southwest Transplant Alliance worked with Montwood High School to bring awareness of organ donation to seniors and honor those who have saved lives by being an organ donor. The organization serves as a bridge between those who make the decision to donate their organs and tissues to those awaiting a lifesaving transplant.
“Currently, there is more than 10,000 people in the state of Texas waiting for a transplant,” said Karla Martinez, community relations specialist for the Southwest Transplant Alliance. “Registering your decision to be an organ donor is very important, even if you’re under the age of 18. We want these students to have that conversation with their parents so they can be educated about it.”
According to the STA, every 10 minutes another person is added to the national transplant waiting list, 8,000 deaths per year are recorded because organs are not donated on time, 82 percent of patients are in need of a kidney and every one out of three deceased donors is over the age of 50.
“I wish to meet the gentleman who has my son’s heart, because I want to hear his heart one last time,” said Moreno Sr. “It was a sacrifice my son made at the age of 16, he gave them a second chance at life. He gave the gift of life to others.”