ROSEBURG, Ore. -- April is national Donate Life month, and for one Roseburg family, that really hits home.
Donate Life Northwest officials were at Mercy on Wednesday, and their goal was to get people to sign up to be organ donors.
Dave Hajek of Roseburg was there to help convince people it's a good idea.
He should know. Hajek received a kidney transplant three years ago from a man in his church, and he's alive today because of it.
Hajek told KPIC News, "He came up to me and said, 'God told me I have your kidney.' "
It turns out that the generous offer couldn't have come at a better time. "It turned out we matched perfectly, so in turn, without having kidney failure, I wouldn't have found out I had colon cancer, so it turned out to be, I'm living twice."
Hajek's daughter Makayla is a contestant in the Miss Douglas County pageant, and her platform is Donate Life.
She couldn't be more passionate about it. "Well, it was obviously a very personal platform for me, something that meant a lot to me, so I thought it was perfect for me to have Donate for Life in my platform," she said.
Bob Miller donated the kidney, and said he was more than happy to do it. "I can still do everything I did before," said Miller. "My life doesn't really change. If I didn't know I was missing a kidney, I wouldn't know I was missing a kidney."
Judith Trujillo, the program director for Donate Life Northwest, says it's an easy process to register to donate organs. "At least 90% of people in the United States say they support donation," she said. "The point of registering, is to let your loved ones know what you want if something would happen to you."
Trujillo says the most needed organ by far, is the kidney. Many people don't realize they can live a perfectly normal life with just one.
Donate Life Northwest displayed a quilt with names of people that either gave organs or are living because of a donated organ.
Rene Whitaker, whose daughter became an organ donor following a car accident in 1997, was there with a florograph she created in honor of her daughter.
Whitaker helped create the Donate Life float at the Rose Bowl Parade last year, and her message is: 'Recycle Yourself.'
It's easy to sign up to be a donor. You can go to the Donate Life Northwest Web site for information.