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National Donate Life Month – Pennsylvania

–Events Encourage Individuals to Register to Become Organ, Tissue and Cornea Donors – 

Pittsburgh, March 31, 2015 – Have you ever been caught in the rain without an umbrella? Each one of us, at times, has been in situations where we are in need of shelter and comfort.  This April is National Donate Life Month, an annual initiative of Donate Life America, who chose this theme to emphasize how we each have an opportunity to play the role of the umbrella, or the person holding it, for others in need through the power of organ donation.

Nearly 124,000 people across the country are waiting for an organ transplant, and at least 18 will die each day without receiving one. The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is joining the organ donation community by celebrating National Donate Life Month, encouraging people to register to become organ, tissue and cornea donors and to learn about the gift of donation by attending community events throughout the region.

Additionally, as part of this observance, Friday, April 17 is National Blue and Green Day, an initiative to get people talking about organ donation, why it is important, and how easy it is to sign up.  Individuals are encouraged to wear blue and green to show their support.

“Organ, tissue and cornea donation provides hope, strength and life to others, and registered donors offer hope to those waiting. With the number of people waiting for a transplant far exceeding the organs, tissues and corneas that are transplanted, the need is great,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. “This April, we are excited to celebrate National Donate Month by educating and inspiring others to make that important choice to become a registered donor—and be the ‘umbrella’ for others in need.”

Below is a sampling of the many CORE community events taking place:

  • April 9St. Clair Hospital, 11:30a:  CORE will host an organ donation awareness session for hospital staff where a donor family member (Lynda Napierkowski of McDonald) and recipient (Dalton Igoe of Altoona) will share their stories.
  • April 17DMV Awareness Tables:  To commemorate National Blue and Green Day, CORE will have organ donation awareness tables at DMV locations in Altoona, Allison Park, Bridgeville, Butler, Erie, Punxsutawney, Uniontown and Washington.
  • April 22Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center (Johnstown), 1p:  CORE will help to unveil phase three of the hospital’s Donor Remembrance Wall.

Additionally, a series of flag raising ceremonies and related events are being held at CORE’s hospital partners to bring increased awareness to organ, tissue and cornea donation:

  • April 1
    • UPMC Shadyside: Flag raising and organ recipient parade
    • UPMC Presbyterian:  Flag raising
    • Jefferson Hospital: Flag raising
    • Mercy Hospital:  Flag raising
    • Allegheny General Hospital:  Kick-off for National Donate Life Month and Give a Hand for Donation Event. The Pirate Parrot will attend as hospital staff makes handprints for display.
  • April 2:  Allegheny General Hospital: Flag raising
  • April 7AHN Forbes Hospital:  Flag raising
  • April 17:  UPMC Hamot (Erie):  Flag raising
  • April 21:  Allegheny General Hospital:  Pinning ceremony to recognize pairs of donors and recipients through the hospital’s Living Kidney Program.
  • April 27Allegheny General Hospital:  The hospital will host its 8th annual Rose Ceremony and Recipient Parade where organ recipients will speak.
  • April 28:
    • UPMC Altoona: Flag raising
    • UPMC Presbyterian: The Celebration of Life and Candle Lighting Ceremony will feature donor families and transplant recipients sharing their stories of hope with hospital staff.

For a full listing of CORE’s events during Donate Life Month, please visit the community calendar at:  http://www.core.org/community-outreach/calendar-of-events/.

National Donate Life Month was instituted by Donate Life America and its partner organizations in 2003. Celebrated in April, it features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, tissue and cornea donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.

To sign up to become an organ, tissue and cornea donor, visit CORE’s website at www.core.orgShow your support and share your photos on social media using the hashtags #DonateLifeMonth and #BlueGreenDay. 

About CORE
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. CORE works closely with donor families and designated health care professionals to coordinate the surgical recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation.  CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs and placement of corneas. With headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Charleston, West Virginia, CORE oversees a region that encompasses 155 hospitals and almost six million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, NY. For more information, visit www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

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