Who We Are

OTAP History

In 1990, upon the advice of an Albuquerque transplant surgeon, a group of heart and lung recipients formed their own support group. Then kidney recipients joined the group. After that liver recipients and pancreas/kidney recipients joined. When the United Network for Organ Sharing regionalized the transplant centers and closed down Albuquerque’s heart, lung & liver programs, the group continued to meet.

Nov 15, 1993 the original members incorporated as Transplant Recipients International of New Mexico.

April 2002 the local group discontinued affiliation with TRIO and reorganized as Organ Transplant Recipients of New Mexico, Inc.

Aug 7, 2002 As Organ Transplant Awareness Program of New Mexico (OTAP) received 501 (c)(3) Letter of Determination

June 17, 2015 the Bylaws were formally amended.

Organ Transplant Awareness Program

OTAP is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Our members include transplant candidates, recipients, living donors, transplant family members and friends supporting our cause. We are dedicated to promoting organ donation and supporting each other.

There are nearly 119,000 organ candidates on the United Network for Organ Sharing waiting list and nearly 800 New Mexicans are waiting for life saving organs. The typical wait time for a kidney in New Mexico is 5 years.

Transplant Community Support Group

No membership required. Transplant candidates, recipients, organ donors, living donors, families and caregivers meet with a facilitator to share and discuss the experiences that are unique to organ donation.

Promote Organ Donor Awareness

As a member of OTAP assist at information booths promoting the need for organ donors. Share your personal story with other OTAP members, new candidates, civic, social groups, religious groups and media.

Organ Donation Awareness Scholarship

NM High School Seniors are invited to write an organ transplant related essay for the opportunity to win a scholarship

Attend Social Gatherings

Summer Family Picnic, Holiday Party. Dinners- last Wednesday of the month.

Become a member of OTAP

Receive a monthly informative newsletter, attend monthly meetings, volunteer at promotional events, be a scholarship essay reader, help with the newsletter, attend the support group be a mentor.

Patricia Pistorio, President

Cathy Walters, Vice President

Evelyn Rivera, Treasurer

Evelyn is a native New Mexican. She has two children and two grandchildren. Being raised in a military family she has lived in Europe, South America and several U.S. states. Her hobbies include reading, hiking, Tai Chi, sewing and learning the history of New Mexico. Her passion is promoting organ donation. Her first liver transplant was in July of 2011 and her second was in February 2015. She has enjoyed a 35 year career in real estate, most recently as a residential real estate appraiser.

Sharon Aiuto, Acting Secretary

Venae Warner, Support Group

Margaret Lopez, Scholarship Chairperson