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An event to raise awareness for organ donations was held at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Thursday, April 3. (KTAR photo/Bob McClay)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Doctors and patients at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center are urging Valley resident to "donate life."

They met at the hospital Thursday to raise awareness of how important it is for people to sign up to be organ donors.

One of them was Mark Larson. His life was saved 18 years ago when he received the kidney of a man who died of a brain aneurysm. He now has a friendship with the deceased man's mother.

"She calls me 'mijo' (my son), because she feels like her son is living," said Larson. "There's a kidney for me, a heart for somebody else, another kidney for somebody else, and a liver for somebody else. She knows that she saved the lives of at least five people [by making sure that her son's organs were donated]."

Gene Brady lost his 26-year-old daughter Elizabeth to a brain aneurysm in 1987. Because his daughter was an organ donor, Brady knows that her death has given life to others.

"We know that because of the decision to donate life, two men are raising families because of her kidneys," said Brady.

April is National Donate Life Month. More than 120,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for a life-saving transplant, including 2,500 people in Arizona. Sixteen people who are waiting for a transplant die in the country every day. Arizona had its most successful transplant year in 2013, with 180 donors saving the lives of 492 people.

Scottsdale Healthcare is hosting two donor registration events this month.

One is on April 9 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, located at 9003 E. Shea Blvd.

The second event is on April 14 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak, which is located at 7400 E. Thompson Peak Pkwy.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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