How Steve Jobs Got Sick, Got Better, And Decided To Save Some Lives
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-steve-jobs-got-sick-2010-04#ixzz1a2W2ZNcs
Here is the full story about Steve Jobs involvement in helping to change the questions on the California DMV form. "Beginning July 1, 2011, all driver license application forms will include two check boxes specific to organ donation to further clarify the applicant's intent: (A) Yes, add my name to the donor registry, or (B), I do not wish to register at this time." We have 8 million donors in California which sounds like alot but that is only %26 of the state's population. Here in California we have some of the longest wait lists in the whole country. Based on Steve's experience of getting a liver transplant where he had to leave the state to obtain his, he thought there must be a better way.
... "But something about his whole experience still bothered Steve.
What bothered him was that while he, a very wealthy man, was surviving his liver's failure, others were not so lucky. Specifically, he was upset because, while he was able to afford the costs of multiple-listing and a private jet that could ferry him to any hospital in the country at a moment's notice, others in California could not; they had to stay in California and hope. He knew that 400 people died hoping.
Steve told Maria Shriver, California's first lady, that her husband needed to encourage organ donors. And so, in a departure from a largely apolitical career, Steve decided to do something about it.
At a dinner in December -- no one will tell us where this dinner was -- Steve sat next to Maria Shriver, John F. Kennedy's niece and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife. Steve told her the whole story of his liver transplant. He complained that California doesn't do enough to encourage people to become organ donors. He told Maria that she should get her husband to do something about it -- that California should require people who want drivers' licenses to say whether or not they want to be organ donors (previously, they'd only had the option of saying they wanted to be donors).
The First Lady talked to her husband. Then the Governor called Steve. The Governor called State Senator Alquist, who he knew to be a long time advocate for organ donation. Suddenly, a cause that couldn't find its way into a bill for two or more years was set to become State Senate Bill 1395. All thanks to Steve Jobs -- and his now-departed liver.
After his conversation with the Governor, a lot happened to distract Steve from his new cause. Mostly, there was the iPad -- a gadget that was supposed to save media and replace laptops. The iPad needed announcing and then last-minute perfecting. Things got so busy that during the month before the iPad's launch, Steve almost skipped an event at Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital where he, the Governor, and Senator Alquist were scheduled to announce the bill.
Lucile Packard's Children Hospital at Stanford
When the Governor's office contacted Lucile Packard to schedule the event roughly 10 days ahead of time, they said that Apple's famous CEO had been invited to appear, but that the hospital should not include his name in the press release.
...He (The Governor) looked at Steve and said:
It's great to have Steve Jobs here, who I think was very instrumental in getting us here today and to have us come up with this great bill that will change a lot here in California. He talked to my wife about his transplant and then my wife talked to me about it and I talked to him about it and we had these great phone conversations back and forth and now here it is reality; we are introducing the bill.
And what I like about Steve is, because he is a wealthy man, we all know that and that helped him get the transplant. But he doesn't want that, that only wealthy people can get the transplant and have a plane waiting to take him anywhere he needs to go. He wants every human being, if you have no money at all or if you're the richest person in the world, everyone ought to have the right to get immediately a transplant. And this is why he has talked to my wife and this is why he has talked to me and put the pressure on us to get this bill going so that we open it up and have enough of the organs available for all the people that are potential recipients. So we want to say -- let's give him a big, big hand for his great generosity.
Steve Jobs at Lucile Packard's Children Hospital
Steve Jobs speaks
That's when Steve walked to the podium and said the following:
"Thank you, Governor Schwarzenegger. Last year I received a liver transplant. I was very fortunate, because many others died waiting to receive one. Last year in California there were 671 liver transplants but last year there were also over 3,400 people waiting for a liver and over 400 of them died waiting in California.
I was almost one of the ones that died waiting for a liver in California last year. I was receiving great care here at Stanford but there were simply not enough livers in California to go around and my doctors here advised me to enroll in a transplant program in Memphis, Tennessee, where the supply/demand ratio of livers is more favorable than it is in California here. And I was lucky enough to get a liver in time. As a matter of fact, this coming week is my one-year anniversary.
So why aren't there more organs available in California? Because in California, like most other states in the nation, you must specifically request to become an organ donor at the Department of Motor Vehicles when you're there to get or renew your driver's license. No one asks you if you want to become a donor. And there's no marketing campaign to make you aware of this opportunity, either, so unless you know about it and unless your specifically ask, nobody is going to ask you, nobody is going to give you this opportunity. And yet even with this obscure procedure over 20 percent of Californians have signed up to be organ donors, which is fantastic. But imagine what it could be if everyone knew of this opportunity.
And that's what the Governor's bill will do. It will simply require the DMV to ask you if you'd like to become an organ donor. That's it. Asking this one simple question may double the number of transplant organs available in California -- one simple question. And that's a very high return on investment, especially for the over 20,000 Californians currently waiting for an organ transplant.
So Governor, thank you for your leadership on this bill. And now I'd like to introduce Senator Alquist. Thank you."
There's reason to believe the event moved Steve Jobs more than he expected it would.
During the preview tour five days prior, a hospital staffer recalls someone from Apple suggesting that they tighten up the tour of the hospital's kidney transplant area -- make it quicker for the busy executives. But at the end of the tour on the actual day of the event, this same hospital staffer says that while everyone else -- the Governor's people, Apple's people, and the hospital staff -- waited outside the recovery room for the children who had just received organ transplants, "Steve was still in there talking to kids."
"Steve stayed in there for a while, really enjoying himself."
Thanks from all of us future transplant patients, Steve!!!