At a recent press conference hosted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Apple CEO Steve Jobs spoke publicly, for the first time ever, about the liver transplant he received about a year ago.
The press conference focused on Schwarzenegger's introduction of new legislation that would encourage organ donation in California, and Steve Jobs, noting that 'last year, 400 other Californians died waiting' for transplants, expressed his support for the bill.
'Bring out the Steve,' Schwarzenegger said, welcoming Jobs to the stage.
'Last year, I received a liver transplant. I was very fortunate because many others died waiting to receive one. Last year, in California, there were 671 liver transplants, but last year there were also over 3400 people waiting for a liver, and over 400 of them died waiting in California," Jobs said.
'I was almost one of the ones who died waiting to receive a liver in California last year,' Jobs continued. 'I was receiving great care here at Stanford, but there were simply not enough livers in California to go around and my doctors here advised me to enroll in a transplant program in Memphis, Tennessee, where the supply-demand ratio of livers is more favorable than it is in California. I was lucky enough to get a liver in time. In fact this coming week is my one year anniversary.'
Steve Jobs said he believes it is important to enact legislation that would help people be more aware of the opportunity to be organ donors.
'Why aren't there more organs available in California? Because in California, like most other states in the nation, you must specifically request to become donor at the Department of Motor Vehicles when you're there to get or renew your driver's license,' Jobs explained. 'No one asks you if you want to become a donor, and there's no marketing campaign to make you aware of this opportunity either. So unless you know about it or unless you specifically ask, no one's going to ask you, no one one's going to give you an opportunity.'
See Steve Jobs's remarks in the video below (they begin around 13 minutes in).