Love, Hope, Pride: Sierra Donor Services Celebrates Pride Month!

June 13, 2024

Sierra Donor Services (SDS) is celebrating Pride Month by featuring stories from our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus (LGBTQ+) community who have been touched by organ donation and transplantation!

Our features remind us that anyone can be an organ donor or recipient regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity by highlighting several LGBTQ+ individuals and families, including:

  • Beverly Kearney-Ybarra, wife of Renne Ybarra, an LGBTQ+ community advocate and donor hero
  • Leanne and Erica Jones, parents of pediatric liver recipient Davan
  • GaNeane Lewis, a tissue recovery coordinator at Sierra Donor Services
  • Nico and Mark Buan-Lagazo, members of the Phillippine Nurses Association, with Nico being a transplant nurse
  • Reyna Portillo-Marzocca, president of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses – Sacramento
  • Michael Coleman, Sierra Donor Services External Affairs Director
  • Avery Monedero, a young trans woman who became a donor hero

Beverly Kearney-Ybarra, Donor Hero

Beverly was a prominent LGBTQ+ advocate in Sacramento, founding the LGBTQ+ caucus for county social work and organizing Dixon’s first Pride event in 2018.

After experiencing a brain aneurysm, Beverly became a donor hero, her caring spirit saving the lives of others through donation.

Leanna & Erica Jones, Parents of Davan, Liver Recipient

Parents Leanne and Erica were left waiting for a miracle when they learned their daughter, Davan, would need a liver transplant to survive.

Thanks to the selflessness of a donor hero, Davan received her lifesaving transplant and the chance to grow up happy and healthy!

GaNeane Lewis, Sierra Donor Services Tissue Recovery Coordinator

GaNeane plays an integral role in saving lives each day, working tirelessly to connect each donor hero’s tissue gifts to the patients who need them.

When she’s not saving lives, GaNeane is enjoying time with her partner, Terri (pictured left)!

Nico & Mark Buan-Lagazo, Community Champions

Nico is a Transplant Nurse Manager at UC Davis Health, and both Nico and Mark are members of the Philippine Nurses Association!

We were honored to have them participate in our #BeTheGift Donor Dash 5K last October!

Reyna Portillo-Marzocca, President of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses – Sacramento

Donation has a special place in Reyna’s heart, having revealed her love for serving her communities.

Michael Coleman, Sierra Donor Services External Affairs Director

Michael joined Sierra Donor Services earlier this year and has been phenomenal in encouraging organ, eye and tissue donation registration within our multicultural communities.

When he’s not leading our External Affairs team, Michael enjoys spending time with his husband, Rob, and his daughters, Kristina and Janet!

Avery Monedero, Donor Hero

Avery Monedero was a 21-year-old trans woman with a caring heart and a strong spirit.

In a final act of selflessness, she became a Donor Hero in November 2021, saving six lives and improving countless more through organ, eye and tissue donation.

Avery’s mother, Monica, later found a deep connection with her daughter’s heart recipient, Chris, whose granddaughter is also trans.

About Sierra Donor Services

Sierra Donor Services (SDS) serves nearly three million people in Northern California and Northern Nevada. We are an exceptional team of professionals dedicated to saving and improving lives by connecting organ and tissue donation to the patients who need them. We strive to extend the reach of each generous donor’s gift to those who are always profoundly grateful for them.

#BeTheGift that saves lives!

When you register as an organ, eye and tissue donor, you leave a lasting legacy and bring hope to those waiting.

To access the National Registry, click here.