City of McAllen holds a organ donor ceremony.

POSTED: Friday, September 4, 2009 - 8:09am

UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 11:33am

In the Rio Grande Valley, 4,000 people are in desperate need of a kidney transplant.

The Texas Organ Sharing Alliance reports around 18 people who wait for an organ transplant die everyday because of the extreme shortage of organ donors. To increase awareness, the City of McAllen held a donor raising flag ceremony on Thursday morning. Local officials, donors and recipients gathered at City Hall to express the importance of donating. A father of a 16 year-old girl who died in a car accident, shared his tough decision to take his daughter off life support and donate her organs.

Eli Cortez needed a kidney transplants in 2007 and luckily for him, his brother became his donor and because of him, Cortez is alive today. In South Texas there are a total of 3,463 patients waiting for a kidney transplant and if you would like to save a life by becoming a donor visit

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