, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

April 26, 2014

Wiltz encourages organ donation

PORT ARTHUR — Nearly 10 years have passed since Geraldine Wiltz received a life saving kidney transplant.

April is National Donate Life Month and Wiltz, a retired Port Arthur Independent School District teacher, is using her experiences to let others know about organ donations.

 Wiltz suffered from kidney disease and was placed on a transplant list in 2002. Five transplant opportunities passed by before she was able to receive her transplant in 2004, she said.

“When I received my transplant my family and a lot of friends signed-up to become donors,” Wiltz said.

Her husband, Charles Wiltz Sr,. was one of those who registered to become a donor. When he died in 2012 his corneas and other tissues went to help others, she said.

Her son, Charles Wiltz Jr., is a LifeGift tissue donation specialist and a 2012 Lone Star Circle of Life Bike Tour honoree, according to

“Let your loved one become a hero and a champion of donation,” Charles Wiltz Jr. said in a press release from LifeGift. “Let them live through other people whose lives you can save.”

Information on organ donation from LifeGift

• Who can be a donor?

Anyone who meets the suitability criteria for any organs or tissues, providing that the individual or family members give consent or the person has given first-person authorization through the Donate Life Texas Registry, can be a donor. Suitability criteria vary depending on the organ or tissue and its condition at the time of death.

• How do you register to be a donor in the state of Texas?

There are three ways to register as an organ and tissue donor in the state of Texas.  You can visit the registry’s website:; at any Department of Public Safety (DPS) office in the state when obtaining your driver’s license or ID; at any Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office in the state when renewing your car’s registration.

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