Three of America’s best-known television programs, three non-scripted storylines, and television broadcaster Robin Roberts were recipients of the 2022 DHL Inspire Awards, presented on August 25th at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood, Awarded by OneLegacy Foundation’s Donate Life Hollywood project. The Inspire Awards honors Hollywood’s most authentic and positive organ donation and transplantation storylines, sending messages of hope and inspiration that can literally be the difference between life and death for thousands. It was a festive night with Hollywood Actors and Producers showing support for this life-changing organization
Founder Tenaya Wallace Founder of DLH thanked donors and transplant recipients for sharing their stories in the hopes that more people would consider offering the gift of life.
The following individuals were honored this year for excellence in authentic storytelling:
- Daniel Sinclair, a co-executive producer on “Chicago Med” will receive an Inspire Award for his writing of the episode of “When You’re a Hammer, Everything’s a Nail.” This episode features a DCD donation, which is the first time we have seen this in a storyline. It also showed the efforts a hospital makes to identify a next of kin when there is a John Doe and clearly highlights the vast separation between the transplant unit and the emergency department.
- Joy Blake is being honored for the writing of the episode “The Long and Winding Road” for the television program “The Resident.” DLH considers this to be the best episode ever written about organ donation. It is heartfelt while also accurately explaining the donation process, including brain death testing. Also being honored is Dr. Daniela Lamas, writer/producer, and physician who works with The Resident to assure the medical accuracy of storylines.
- Emmy award-winning screenwriter Mark Driscoll, a co-executive producer on “Grey’s Anatomy” will receive an Inspire Award for his writing of the episode “Legacy.” This powerful episode highlighted the person behind the organ donation and created a beautiful tribute to the donor.
- Creator and Executive Producers Shannon Powers and Dan Snook are being honored for “Last Chance Transplant,” a docuseries following the journey of people waiting for organ transplants at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Documentarian Colleen Wood is being honored for “JOE 238.” Ten years in the making, “JOE238” documents the death of 24-year-old Sacramento police officer Joseph “Joe” Chairez, who wished to donate his organs upon death, and follows the lives of his loved ones in their unique grieving process as a donor family.
- Dual-transplant recipient Valen Keefer will receive an Inspire Award for the docuseries, “Letters of Hope.” Created by Keefer and sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific, the docuseries aims to educate other transplant recipients and society at large about the realities of life before, during, and after transplantation.
- Celebrity guest presenters will include: Stefphanie Kramer (Best known for her starring roles in hit TV series, Hunter, NCIS, and 9-11), Michael Pare (Eddie and the Cruisers, Streets of Fire, The Philadelphia Experiment), and Donny Most (from the longest running TV series Happy Days, Glee, Bold and the Beautiful)
Also this year, DLH will present its first annual Joe Lafferty Award to co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Robin Roberts, whose production company Rock’n Robin Productions helped to bring 2022 DLH Inspire Award winner “Last Chance Transplant” to life. Roberts appeared in the TLC series speaking with transplant candidates about their wait for a second chance at life. Lafferty, who passed away earlier this year, was a two-time transplant recipient, author, and national organ donation advocate who worked behind the scenes helping to reboot the Donate Life Hollywood project in 2018. Each year the award will honor an individual who works in the entertainment industry and helps to promote organ, eye, and tissue donation.
“The entertainment industry has a huge impact on the public’s perception of organ donation, and we are thrilled to honor these exceptional storylines 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.”
Presenting sponsor for the DLH Inspire Awards is 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. Also sponsoring this year’s awards are Donate Alliance of Colorado and Gift of Life Michigan, both of whom will be represented at the awards ceremony by donor families who will be among the award presenters.
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 organ donors—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 the seven-county greater Los Angeles area. With more than 200 hospitals, 10 transplant centers, and a diverse population of 22 million, OneLegacy is the largest organ, eye, and tissue recovery organization in the world. For more information about OneLegacy, visit OneLegacy.org, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.