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Shelley Osterloh ReportingThe Utah Donor Registry Coalition honored four Utah businesses today for their efforts to save lives through organ donation.
Utah has more than million names on it's donor registry, but still about six thousand Americans die each year while waiting for an organ transplant.
Richard Ream, Heart Recipient: "Organ donation is what saved my life. I had my transplant three and a half years ago. I had even made my funeral arrangements because I wasn't expected to live. Then a few weeks after that, received a heart and I'm here today."
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson joined the Quest for the Gift of Life Foundation to honor four Utah businesses for their outstanding efforts to increase organ donor awareness.
When an employee at USANA Health Sciences became a living donor and donated a kidney, the company added a special benefit.
Christy Dearden, USANA Health Sciences: "USANA is excited to become the first Utah company to implement a policy of paid leave for future living donors."
The Family that owns CR England Trucking Company has both donated and been recipients. It sponsors a yearly fundraiser and has registered hundreds of willing employees.
Dan England, CEO, CR England Trucking: "We've seen how lives are prolonged, how the quality of life improved through this great cause."
Merit Medical and Associated Food stores were both commended for their donor education programs.
Neal Berube, Exec. V.P Associate Food Stores: "I had a 14 year son who seemed healthy one week, and sick the next week. He is now a 24-year old healthy young man because a 15-year old young lady's family had the compassion to help others."
Fred Lampropoulos, Pres. & CEO Merit Medical: "These are our neighbors, these are our employees, these are our friends, and sometimes its kept quiet and we wanted to be involved because there is a need and it's a worthy cause."
The Utah Donor Registry Coalition says the workplace is a great place to educate people about organ donation so that in a time of loss they are prepared to make a decision that could save lives.