About Us

The Transplant Network is a nonprofit organization that consists of transplant candidates, recipients, recipient family members, donors, donor family members, healthcare professionals, and concerned individuals.

Our Mission

The Transplant Network is a nonprofit organization committed to saving the lives of transplant candidates by increasing the number of organ donors through organ and tissue donor awareness education. Our organization also strives to improve the quality of life of the transplant candidates, recipients and their loved ones.  To achieve this goal The Transplant Network lends support and encouragement to patients throughout all phases of the transplant journey.

Our Activities

  • Works as the anchor organization for the Nevada Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness Task Force
  • Offers specialized exercise programs to pre and post-transplant patients through the therapeutic
    work provided by the Healing Moves Foundation
  • Offers a monthly transplant support group in Reno, Nevada.
  • Sponsors the annual Donate Life Walk in northern Nevada
  • Works in cooperation with the University of Nevada/School of Medicine.
  • Works with Statline in efforts to register organ and tissue donors in Nevada.
  • Works with our political leaders concerning legislative issues which affect the transplant patients.

History of The Transplant Network

The Transplant Network was founded by Debbie Pinjuv in 1997.  The organization started with a group of liver transplant patients. Members of the Reno Liver Transplant Support Group met regularly to share their common experiences and challenges associated with waiting and receiving an organ transplant. Each patient and their loved ones went through the tremendous emotional burden of knowing that they might die before a life-saving organ became available.

The issues experienced by members of the Reno support group are the same issues faced by over 122,000 patients who are currently listed on the national transplant waiting list. Every 10 minutes another name gets added to that list.  Yet, the amount of organ donors remains stagnant at approximately 5500 per year.  Because of the extreme shortage of organ donors, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) and many other interested parties (Department of Health and Human Services,  transplant centers, organ procurement organizations, etc.) have tried to set precedence in the allocation of donor organs.  Common to all transplant patients is the experience of being caught in this political system which dictates when a person is sick enough to receive the surgery that will give he or she a second chance at life.

Instead of continuously worrying about the many issues of receiving a transplant, the support group members became more and more proactive. A spin-off of the support group was formed with a new task-oriented group.  Members of The Transplant Network became involved by working at health fairs and giving speeches at schools, churches and service organizations. Donor families and the transplant patients appeared on television and in the newspapers telling of the miracles of transplantation and the need for more organ donors.

The Transplant Network gained more and more momentum. Members worked endlessly during the 1999 and 2001 Legislative Sessions. The Network and the First Lady of Nevada and former Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons introduced three bills created to help the transplant patients. Each bill was approved by both houses of the Legislature and signed by Governor Guinn to become Nevada law. Another exciting outcome of The Transplant Network’s efforts from the 2001 Legislative Session is the formation of the Organ and Tissue Donation Task Force of Nevada under the direction of former Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa and First Lady Dawn Gibbons.



Read the Minutes of the Senate and Assembly on the Nevada bills which created the foundation for our Statewide Donor Registry, our donor education and funding partnership with the DMV, and the formation of the Nevada Organ and Tissue Donor Task Force:

To read more about our activities, please click on the following links to articles written about The Transplant Network.


The Transplant Network has 501 (c) (3) nonprofit status. Your charitable contribution is greatly appreciated.  Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. The Transplant Network will provide documentation of your gift for tax records. Please consider making a donation to help us continue our important work.



Address:  1664 North Virginia Street, Reno, NV  89557-0454
University of Nevada/School of Medicine/MS/0454

Phone:  (775)  784-6171

e-mail: contact@thetransplantnetwork.com

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