DENVER, Feb. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- DaVita, a division of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. (NYSE: DVA) and a leading provider of kidney care services, recognizes National Donor Day, February 14, and wishes to raise awareness for the tens of thousands of individuals awaiting a kidney transplant. National Donor Day raises awareness about the importance of organ donation. When kidneys are failing, a person has to undergo regular dialysis treatment to filter toxins from the blood or receive a kidney transplant in order to survive. According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), there are nearly 100,000 candidates waiting for a kidney, making kidneys the most in-demand organ. "Receiving a kidney from my daughter changed my outlook on life," said Stephanie Carson, former DaVita® dialysis patient from Daytona Beach, Fla. "Because of her donation, I was able to return to work as a school bus driver, healthy and energized, and am now living my life as a brand new me." Research has shown that dialysis patients who continue to work and manage dialysis, as Stephanie Carson did, are twice as likely to receive kidney transplant. However, some dialysis patients have medical reasons which may restrict these individuals from being an active candidate on the transplant list. DaVita's comprehensive approach to promoting transplant includes transplant education and use of extensive information, technology and empowerment tools. DaVita works with regional transplant centers to provide patients with key materials they need to check eligibility for a transplant. DaVita is committed to providing the necessary resources to support patients to prepare for and monitor their transplant process along with helping patients experience a high quality of life. In the past, only a close relative could be a living kidney donor. Now more distant relatives, and even friends or strangers, can be donors. In addition to those waiting for a kidney, about 20,000 other candidates are on the waiting list for a pancreas, liver, intestine, heart or lung. Ongoing efforts to raise awareness about organ donation have influenced more than 100 million people in the U.S. to register as an organ donor after death. The availability of live organ donors, however, continues to be limited.