PITTSBURGH, PA – Feb. 15 – Carnegie Science Center hosted three extraordinary families whose young children received heart transplants at a National Donor Day press conference, sponsored by Donate Life Pennsylvania and the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) on February 14. The organization also welcomed one young man currently on the heart transplant waiting list.
“Our institution delights, educates, and inspires children through interactive experiences in science and technology and we could not think of a better way to affirm our mission than to host these brave children and families at our facility,” said Ann Metzger, Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center.
Intended to coincide with Valentine’s Day, National Donor Day was established in 1998 by several private companies, non-profit health organizations, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as a day to reflect on the need for organ, eye, tissue, marrow, and platelet and blood donations.
“Today is such an exciting day for our family. To think of where Jameson was—sick and in the hospital—and to see him climbing the rock wall is just astounding to me. I realize that it’s because of another family’s decision to donate their child’s heart that mine is able to be here today. I understand just how truly blessed I am. I get to have more time with my son, and for that, I am forever grateful,” said Danielle McKain, whose 5-year old son Jameson received a life-saving heart transplant in 2011.
While 90 percent of Pennsylvanians support organ and tissue donation, only 46 percent of residents have put the donor designation on their driver’s license, learner’s permit or state identification card. Currently, more than 8,400 Pennsylvanian residents need a life-saving organ or tissue transplant.
Susan Stuart, President & CEO of CORE, said, “National Donor Day is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the incredible power of donation by focusing on people who have been saved each year by the gift they were given. Today, we see the direct impact that it has had on the lives of children, adults and their families, and we are so happy to show Pennsylvania residents that one of the greatest decisions they’ll ever make, to register to be a donor, can literally save a life.”
It only takes thirty seconds to sign up and become a registered organ donor. Pennsylvania residents can register in 30 seconds by visiting the website donatelifepa.org/registration. Each organ donor can save up to 8 lives and each tissue donor can improve up to 50 lives.
About Donate Life PA
Donate Life PA is a collaborative initiative between Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL), the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) – the two organ procurement organizations serving Pennsylvania – and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Transportation. It is funded by state residents through voluntary contributions included with driver’s license renewals, vehicle registrations and state income tax filings. All contributions are used by the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund to educate residents, build awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation, and increase the number of people who sign up to become donors on their driver’s license, learner’s permit or state identification card. Visit us at DonateLifePA.org or at Facebook.com/DonateLifePennsylvania.
About the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (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.
About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs. In addition to providing valuable scientific experiences, Carnegie Science Center engages in outreach programs that serve Pittsburgh’s diverse community. The Science Center is located on Pittsburgh’s North Shore along the banks of the Ohio River and is accessible to persons with disabilities.