In partnership with the non-profit organization Donate Life South Carolina, in 2010 A's catcher Landon Powell founded the Donors on the Diamond charity event to promote organ donation in South Carolina.
The mission of Donate Life South Carolina is to increase the supply of organs and tissues for transplantation and provide assistance for South Carolina transplant recipients with hopes that one day an organ or tissue will be available for every South Carolinian in need of a transplant.
Prior to reaching the Major Leagues, Powell recovered from two ACL knee surgeries in three short years in which he was a recipient of ligaments from tissue donations. In January of 2009, Powell was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, a rare liver disease with no known cure. The disease can be controlled with medication, but Powell will need a liver transplant at some point in his life.
Because of this, organ and tissue donation has become very important to Landon and his family and this was the driving factor in his involvement of raising awareness for organ and tissue donation.
"Organ donorship is something that had never really been close to my life before I was diagnosed," said Powell. "I've always put down 'organ donor' on my driver's license, but never really thought much about it. Now I realize how much it affects people's lives. One day, my life might depend on someone donating their organs. It makes a huge impact."
The inaugural Donor on the Diamond charity event, which had numerous athletes in attendance, including A's teammates Steve Tolleson and Joey Devine, raised over $40,000.
Additionally, last season the A's hosted Donate Life Night in partnership with California Donor Transplant Network and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. Through ticket sales and corporate donations, more than $12,000 was donated to the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Social Services Transplant Fund. During the game, the A's raised awareness about the importance of registering to be an organ donor through an in-game public service announcement made by Powell.
For more information about Donate Life South Carolina please visit donatelifesc.org.
The Donate Life South Carolina organization is a not-for-profit public charity recognized by the IRS under 501(c)(3).