(LOS ANGELES – June 23, 2021) — At a time when the entertainment industry’s proliferation of awards is increasingly being criticized as “fluff and self-aggrandizement” comes an award that can literally be the difference between life and death for thousands. The 2021 DLH Inspire Awards, honoring Hollywood’s most authentic and positive organ donation and transplantation storylines, will be presented via a LIVE stream on July 15. The virtual awards show will air at 4 p.m. Pacific Time on Facebook @DLHCampaign.
DLH Inspire Awards (https://accessdlh.org/2021-inspire-awards/) cover a wide array of creative endeavors this year including three television shows, a documentary and a public service announcement. The Awards are presented by the OneLegacy Foundation’s Donate Life Hollywood initiative, which serves as a liaison between the organ donation community and the entertainment industry to encourage more authentic and empowering stories on this important topic.
The following productions and individuals are being honored this year for excellence in authentic storytelling:
- Marco Pennette, the creator of CBS’s BPositive, will receive a 2021 DLH Inspire Award for Season One of the highly-acclaimed program which is largely based on Pennette’s real-life experience with kidney failure.
- Andrea Ballas, Amy Eicher and Ray Paolantonio of CBS will receive a 2021 DLH Inspire Award for their efforts to bring the #BeLikeGina campaign to life. #BeLikeGina featured a PSA that aired three times during National Kidney Month in March 2021 in a partnership between CBS publicity and national organ donation and kidney organizations. The BeLikeGina.org landing page featured stories of altruistic living donors and information about the living donation process.
- Laura Valdivia is receiving a 2021 DLH Inspire Award for writing a powerful deceased donation storyline on the NBC medical drama New Amsterdam in the episode “Why Not Yesterday.” The episode includes a superhero honor walk, reminiscent of real-life honor walks coordinated by OneLegacy at many Southern California hospital.
- Diane Folov and Andrew Schneider are receiving a 2021 DLH Inspire Award as the showrunners of NBC’s Chicago Med for their heart transplant storyline featuring the real-life TransMedics Organ Care System in the episode “I Will Come to Save You.”
- TransMedics is receiving a 2021 DLH Inspire Award for its role in ensuring an accurate storyline on NBC’s Chicago Med featuring their Organ Care System technology.
- Ayanna Anderson and Mike Freise are receiving a 2021 DLH Inspire Award for producing We Speak Life, a short documentary that seeks to spark conversations within the Black community about the importance of organ donation. This film was funded by The California Endowment and produced by Donor Network West.
“The entertainment industry has a huge impact on the public’s perception of organ donation, and we are thrilled to honor these exceptional individuals for their dedication to getting the story right,” said DLH Founder Tenaya Wallace. “Unlike most other subjects that are dramatized in Hollywood, the majority of the public has never actually experienced donation and thus are highly influenced, positively or negatively, by the fictional account of a very real and serious topic. When Hollywood gets it wrong, it can cost lives. But when they get it right—as these productions have—Hollywood has the power to literally save and change lives.”
Also being honored on July 15 are the winners of DLH’s “Storytellers Contest,” which invited high school and college students to showcase their own talents and creativity by creating a one-minute video regarding living kidney donation. All videos submitted were reviewed by a panel of Hollywood and transplant industry judges with cash prizes awarded to the winners. Abie Rohrig, Kate Glennon, Khalif Kamil and Emily Greenwell were this year’s winners and will have their videos premiered at the DLH Inspire Awards.
DLH is an initiative of the OneLegacy Foundation, the education, research and support arm of OneLegacy, the nonprofit federally designated organ procurement organization based in the heart of Hollywood and serving seven counties in Southern California. DLH is further supported by OPOs, transplant centers and patient groups around the country.
Throughout the year DLH provides film companies, television programs, entertainment studios, producers and writers easy access to a network of experts—from renowned transplant surgeons to families whose loved ones became an organ donor—for free consultations on all aspects of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. DLH also assists with casting, production and publicity support. All services are outlined on AccessDLH.org.
OneLegacy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in seven counties in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern. It serves more than 200 hospitals, 11 transplant centers, a diverse population of nearly 20 million, donors and families across the region, and waiting recipients across the country. For more information, visit onelegacy.org.