Life Savers Transplant Support Group was founded in 1999 by Philip David Alcantar and his wife and caregiver, Velia Alcantar. Phil was a liver recipient who felt there was a need for a support group in the El Paso and surrounding areas. They volunteered their time to speak at health fairs and other functions in order to spread the word about the importance of Organ Donation. Initially, the support group meetings were held at Phil’s house, but it was not long before the group outgrew their home.
The group’s mission is to raise the communities awareness to the need for organ donation, to increase access to transplantation services, and to maintain and sustain Life Savers Transplant Support Group programs and activities (ex: Health Fairs, Speaking Engagements, Print and Visual Media). There are currently over 70 members in the support group. Life Savers is committed to meeting the needs of transplant patients, caregivers, donors, and their families. Many of our members have received organ transplants, or are awaiting a transplant. Caregivers and family members are also invited and encouraged to attend our meetings.
We are an independent, non-profit organization with a Board of Directors and by-laws. Any transplant recipient, transplant candidate, caregiver, donor, or family member who has been a member for more than one year, is eligible to be a Board Member. One of the more unique aspects of our group is that we also have family members of deceased donors in our group. Their presence in our group brings a dimension not ordinarily found in other support groups around the country and reminds us of the magnitude of the gift that we need, or have been granted.
All the work that we do is on a volunteer basis. We have no paid staff, no dues, no debts beyond what we incur in order to promote organ donation. We are under no one’s jurisdiction and have found that this freedom is essential to the independent functioning which we cherish.
A legacy of life… We educate people about the need for organ donation. Each year 2 million people die in this country. About 18,000 are potential donors, 7,000 people are successful donors, 6,000 are not medically eligible and 5,000 donors are never reached. Our goal is to inform people of the need to donate organs. We help people learn how to become donors, make sure they are aware of how to make their wishes known and encourage their families to support their donation.
If you are contemplating a transplant, are awaiting a transplant, or simply need information about our group and live in the El Paso Area, please attend one of our meetings.
For additional information about our group, please feel free to contact us.