press releases

A Life-Changing Donation

Getting to Know U: Victor SalazarVictor Salazar, Member Service Advisor, Reno’s Double R Blvd. Branch

Ten minutes. For most of us, that’s a quick trip to the ATM or a coffee drive-thru pick up. But did you know, every 10 minutes another person is added to the national transplant waitlist? That’s why organizations like Donor Network West—serving Northern California and Northern Nevada—focus on community education to help grow the organ donor registration list in their communities.

Getting to Know U: Victor Salazar

In May 2022, United’s nine branches in Reno, Sparks and Carson City, Nevada teamed up with Donor Network West to host an organ donor registration event. The informational campaign educated Members on organ donation and offered them an easy way to sign-up to become a donor. Members who signed up, or were already registered organ donors, were encouraged to sign large hearts placed in all of the participating branches.

“Community is everything,” said Meredith Williams, Regional Vice President—Nevada. “Helping people is what we do here at United. When organizations like Donor Network West help someone in what is the worst moment of their life, we want to not only support their important mission, but showcase what they do.”

In the month of May, Donor Network West had 43 new registrations in Washoe County and Carson City, which it said United’s campaign contributed to.

“Each of those 43 registrations has the possibility of giving eight people a second chance at life,” said Denise Nickel, Community Engagement Specialist for Donor Network West. “That is 344 people that could be positively impacted in the future. If you include tissue donation, there are another 75 people per donor that can be healed. That’s an additional 3,225 people!”

Using United locations to increase awareness and organ donor registration wasn’t just important for supporting such a necessary cause, it also allowed Team United to support one of their own who has benefited from organ donations. Victor Salazar, a Member Service Advisor based in the Reno area, has worked for United for nearly five years. He is also a triple organ donation recipient.

Getting to Know U

Victor Salazar, Member Service Advisor, Reno’s Double R Blvd. Branch

Getting to Know U: Victor Salazar

You are an organ donor recipient. Talk briefly about your journey.

I was blessed with two corneal and a kidney transplant. Prior to receiving my corneal transplant, my vision had deteriorated to the point where I would need full assistance if leaving my home. I waited four years before I was compatible with an organ donor. Receiving the transplant gave me a second shot at life, which I will always be thankful for.

In May, United branches in Nevada participated in an effort to increase organ donor registration. What did it mean to you personally to have the company you work for support this important cause?

July 2022 will be eight years since I received my kidney transplant. I have struggled to share my experience in the past. However, throughout the years I have come to realize it is an honor to share my story in hopes to raise awareness on the need of organ donation. United Federal Credit Union has supported me throughout this journey. I am thankful to work for a company that not only supports their members, but also their employees.

Were you able to share your story with any Members during this campaign?

The Donor Network West campaign boards we had in all of our branches generated a lot of interest and lead to great conversations with our members. I was able to share my story with members and was able to share how this saved my life.

How have your experiences in your personal life impacted how you view your interactions with United Members on a day-to-day basis?

What I experienced in my personal life has helped me see life in a different light. People tend to judge others by what they see, but they don’t know what comes behind it. Members have seen me differently and are more empathetic with my story. I live life day by day and want to live life to its fullest.

How do you encourage others to support organ donation and spread the important message?

I always love to share my story, I feel that by sharing it helps others connect to people like me. I always share with my members how organ donation gave me a second shot at life and now I live life to its fullest. I want to enjoy life and be with those that make me happy. I am thankful to United for providing me the courage and support to share my story.