UNOS Ambassadors

Every day United Network for Organ Sharing is contacted by people all across the country who want to educate others about UNOS, organ donation and transplantation. The UNOS Ambassador program provides tools, tips, and resources to help you spread awareness of United Network for Organ Sharing’s lifesaving mission in your community.

Anyone can be a UNOS Ambassador. Whether you are a registered organ donor, wait-list candidate, transplant recipient, donor family member or living donor, your passion about organ donation and transplantation along with your commitment to sharing your experience is the foundation of being a UNOS Ambassador.


Every UNOS Ambassador has a unique story.

“I was a young mother of 3 when I was diagnosed. My children were the most important part of my life, always by my side. They grew up with my illness until October 1998 when I received the call. I was very sick by then but very determined. And so, here I am 20 years later.” Janet Ocasio, liver transplant recipient · Read her story

“Shannon was dying. She was only a kid in high school and she was dying. On December 27, 2011, I was the first one tested and in January 2012 I was notified that I was a match. When people find out that I am a living donor I get the comments that I’m a hero, but I don’t see it that way. Shannon is my hero.” Nadia Guerra, living kidney donor · Read her story

“From ages 8 to 37, I overcame cancer, diabetes, vision loss, a pulmonary embolism, organ failure, open heart surgery, seven minutes of death, and a double organ transplant. I am responsible to honor the life afforded me by my donor.” Joe Lafferty, kidney/pancreas transplant recipient · Read his story

“We still do not know when he will get that call. For those of you who are registered organ donors, my sincerest appreciation. For those who are not, it isn’t too late to become an organ donor. Your donation could keep a young father alive to see his kids grow up.” Melissa Arias, caregiver · Read her story

“In February 1991, Megan was listed for a heart. On September 13, 1991, the call came that they had a match. Over the next 6 weeks, we watched as Meg flourished, she was strong, for the first time she was being a kid.” Maureen Jaret, pediatric recipient mother · Read her story

“Finding a living donor has been challenging, definitely harder than I ever expected but I am fighting for my husband and two beautiful children that I have been blessed with and it makes it all worth it.” Jasmine Ruiz, kidney waitlist candidate · Read her story

“Not a day goes by that I do not think about my organ donors and their families. It is my mission and purpose to spread the word about the legacy we can all leave with the power of organ, eye, and tissue donation and transplantation.” Mary Wu, kidney transplant recipient · Read her story

“I waited for 12 patient years on that list. Life and death continued over the next decade plus then I received the call from my transplant team and was told that they had a heart for me.” Gene Shimandle, heart transplant recipient · Read his story

“After four years of being connected to oxygen concentrators to keep me alive, the only way to save my life was a double lung transplant. Life is beautiful. Organ donation is the most wonderful miracle of modern medicine.” Maria Margarita Gamboa, lung transplant recipient · Read her story

What does a UNOS Ambassador do?

There are endless ways you can generate awareness about UNOS, organ donation and transplantation:

As a UNOS Ambassador, you’ll receive:


Every UNOS Ambassador is mailed a kit that you can use to educate your community about UNOS, organ transplantation, and donation. Many Ambassador materials are also available online.


UNOS Ambassadors also receive a monthly e-newsletter, are provided quarterly educational opportunities, and an invitation to join the private Ambassadors Facebook Group. By joining our private UNOS Ambassadors Facebook Group, you can communicate with other UNOS Ambassadors and share what you’ve been doing to raise awareness for UNOS, organ donation, and transplantation.


Stay up to date on the latest UNOS news on social media by liking the UNOS Facebook page and following us on Twitter and Instagram.

Mary explains how UNOS Ambassadors improve the national transplant system.

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Voices in Transplant

Read more about how UNOS members, staff and volunteers are improving technology to increase organ donation and transplantation nationwide.


UNOS Ambassador resources

Being a UNOS Ambassador through social media, philanthropy, and your personal why

UNOS acronyms webinar


Committee volunteerism webinar

The Waitlist webinar

Understanding Public Comment webinar

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