Hundreds of Organ and Tissue Donors Honored with Memorial Donor Rock at UC Davis Medical Center

UC Davis Memorial Rock

SACRAMENTO, CA – A two ton memorial donor rock will be installed via crane on the UC Davis Medical Center grounds, Thursday, June 18 at 10:00 a.m. The media is invited, and interviews with a recipient and donor family will be available. The rock created in part with the help of a local donor family, whose 17-year-old son saved five lives in 2011, will stand as a testament to the generosity of hundreds of UC Davis organ, eye and tissue donors.

UC Davis kidney recipient, Gary Narberes, father to two, waited more than five years for a life-saving kidney transplant, which finally came in March of 2014. Before his surgery, Gary was tethered to a dialysis machine three nights a week and was hardly capable of handling the stairs in his home, due to his kidney failure. Now he says he views each day as a blessing. Gary feels it’s fitting that a rock will honor donors who make life possible for people like him.

“What a wonderful tribute, to provide this place of serenity for those who have lost their loved ones. For transplant recipients like me, donors are our rock.”
Deanna and Rich Santana, parents to 17-year-old Scott, who became a donor four years ago following a fatal car accident, helped create the rock in hopes that other families could find a glimmer of light through their loved ones’ donation.

“We see this rock as a symbol of generosity and hope,” says Deanna. “We were honored to be involved in constructing a monument that attests to the fact that there is something good – a legacy of life – that can emerge from a tragic situation. Scott’s donation continues to bring us comfort, knowing he left this world a better place.”

The memorial rock is inscribed with a poem, which reads:

“It is now time
for me to move on
Into the dusk
but also the dawn.
I will remain
as the morning comes
As I’ve left behind
a gift for someone
So another may walk,
may talk, may see
Where their life was locked
I offered a key
I am a donor
to someone in need
My final gift, my final deed.”

UC Davis Medical Center, in partnership with the local nonprofit organ, eye and tissue donor agency, Sierra Donor Services, will host a memorial rock dedication ceremony on June 23. More than 200 organ, eye and tissue donor families have been invited. The ceremony will include a reading of each of the donors’ first names.

Sierra Donor Services (SDS) is a Dialysis Clinic Inc. Donor Services (DCIDS) subsidiary. SDS is a nonprofit agency dedicated to meeting the needs of the community by providing families the option of organ and tissue donation for transplantation and research. SDS serves Inland Northern California, including Sacramento, ten surrounding counties, Santa Rosa and Northern Nevada. www.sierradonor.org.

UC Davis Health System is improving lives and transforming health care by providing excellent patient care, conducting groundbreaking research, fostering innovative, interprofessional education, and creating dynamic, productive partnerships with the community. The academic health system includes one of the country’s best medical schools, a 619-bed acute-care teaching hospital, a 1000-member physician’s practice group and the new Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. It is home to a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, an international neurodevelopmental institute, a stem cell institute and a comprehensive children’s hospital. Other nationally prominent centers focus on advancing telemedicine, improving vascular care, eliminating health disparities and translating research findings into new treatments for patients. Together, they make UC Davis a hub of innovation that is transforming health for all. For more information, visit: healthsystem.ucdavis.edu.