San Francisco Giants “Donate Life” Day

On August 31st, the San Francisco Giants held their 19th Annual Organ Donor Awareness Day (now known as Donate Life Day). Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford has been a key part of this event since its inception in 1998 and I am a proud co-founder of the event. It’s an opportunity for the community to celebrate lives that have been saved through organ donation.

At this event, six transplant patients were recognized—all were treated as VIPs, receiving tickets for their families and as well as generous gift bags from the Giants. The patient’s names appeared on the scoreboard at the end of the 4th inning.

There was a pregame ceremony that included patient Isabel Stenzl Byrnes. Isabel, a double lung transplant patient, also served as “an honorary ball dude” for the game. She was positioned outside the foul lines to shag any errant balls. Also on the field was six-year old Ailee Binauhan, who received a liver transplant at when she was just six months old. Ailee got to announce the start of the game by declaring “Play Ball!”

Several of my colleagues from the liver transplant team, Drs. Jen Burgis, Rachel Bensen, and Joanne Imperial were also in attendance to support our patients. Dr. Imperial was the hepatologist for Lori Gardner, wife of current Giant’s pitching coach and former pitcher, Mark Gardner. Lori’s liver transplant in 1998 was the inspiration for this organ donor awareness event. The Giants Donate Life Day is the longest running organ donor event in all of professional sports.



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