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CORE, Pittsburgh Celebrate National Donate Life Month in April

Pittsburgh Mayor Recognizes National Donate Life Month with Official Proclamation; Month-Long Event Drives Awareness and Honor Donors

PITTSBURGH – APRIL 1, 2019 – The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) will commemorate National Donate Life Month, a month-long observance that encourages awareness of organ donation and registrations, with a series of interactive events in partnership with the City of Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Science Center, volunteers, donor families and hospital partners.

“It’s an honor for CORE to celebrate National Donate Life Month with the healthcare professionals, public officials, law enforcement officers, small business owners, faith leaders and community members of western Pennsylvania and West Virginia,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO, CORE. “Coming together to reinforce the life-saving and life-affirming gifts of organ, tissue and cornea donation and to honor those generous donors who offer the gift of life is truly significant. We are inspiring people to say ‘yes’ to donation and we’re giving hope to the nearly 114,000 people who are waiting for a life-saving transplant.”

While 95 percent of people say they support organ donation, only percent of people in Pennsylvania are actually registered as organ and tissue donors. Additionally, a new patient is added to the national organ transplant list every ten minutes. In an effort to increase awareness and organ donation designations, CORE will kick off #PGHGoesBlueAndGreen, a localized initiative to encourage residents in western Pennsylvania to give the gift of life by registering to become organ donors. The campaign will officially launch on April 12 in support of National Blue and Green Day, an observance that encourages the public to show their support by wearing blue and green to celebrate the gift of life.

At 1:30 p.m. on April 12, Mayor Bill Peduto will issue an official proclamation emphasizing the importance of organ donation. The announcement will take place at the Mayor’s office in downtown Pittsburgh with donor families, recipients and leaders from the city’s largest hospitals in attendance. Additionally, on the evening of April 12, CORE is set to light up the city, including the City County Building, the Highmark building, the Koppers building, the Gulf Tower and the Allegheny County Courthouse, in blue and green to commemorate Donate Life Month and National Blue and Green Day. Pittsburgh residents are encouraged to wear blue and green to show their support.

CORE is also teaming up with the Carnegie Science Center to premiere the award-wining Burden of Genius: Dr. Thomas Starzl’s Journey into Organ Transplantation documentary film that highlights the magnificent journey of the legendary Pittsburgher Dr. Thomas E. Starzl. In 1967, Dr. Starzl performed the world’s first successful liver transplant, and perfected the procedure when he came to the University of Pittsburgh in 1981. The first Pittsburgh screening of Burden of Genius will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 12 at the Rangos Giant Cinema at the Carnegie Science Center, in honor of National Blue and Green Day and will run through April 18. CORE is encouraging volunteers, donors, donor families and recipients to attend the 4 p.m. showing to celebrate National Blue and Green Day. Additionally, CORE will have a table where visitors can learn more about organ donation and register to become donors.

ADDITIONAL EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE MONTH:

  • On March 29 at 3 p.m. a few days prior to National Donate Life Month, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh will raise the Donate Life Flag at the Hospital Main Lobby and Outdoor Flagpole at UPMC Children’s Hospital.
  • On April 1 at 10 a.m., Allegheny General Hospital will conduct a flag raising to honor Paul Sciullo, a fallen Pittsburgh Police Officer who saved lives through organ donation. This marks the 10th anniversary of Sciullo’s passing.
  • On April 2 at 11 a.m., UPMC Presbyterian will conduct a flag raising ceremony to commemorate National Donate Life Month.
  • On April 13 at 10 a.m., UPMC Presbyterian will conduct its Living Donor Ceremony. This event brings transplant recipients and living donors together to celebrate the gift of life.
  • On April 18 at 12:30 p.m., VA Pittsburgh will hold a flag raising ceremony in honor of National Donate Life Month.
  • On April 20, the Donate Life Baseball Game will take place at PNC Park. This will be an opportunity for the Pittsburgh community to celebrate organ donors and to increase awareness of donation. CORE will have a table where people can learn more about organ donation and sign up to become donors in real-time.
  • On April 26 at 1 p.m., UPMC Presbyterian will hold its Celebration of Life donor memorial ceremony.
  • On April 27 at 10 a.m., UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Patient Parade will take place at UPMC Children’s Hospital. This event will feature the first-ever mascot dance-off.
  • On April 30 at 1 p.m., Allegheny General Hospital will hold its Rose Ceremony. This event will include remarks from CORE, AGH’s transplant team, a recipient and a donor family. A rose bush will be dedicated to those who have chosen to give the gift of life.