Philadelphia Celebrates National Donor Day at Franklin Institute’s Giant Heart Exhibit

February 15, 2016

Back to Press Releases

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On February 14th, the Franklin Institute hosted three extraordinary recipients and their families whose lives were directly impacted by receiving a heart transplant at a National Donor Day press conference, sponsored by Donate Life Pennsylvania and Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL).

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 amazing day for organ transplant recipients like myself,” says Janet Dennis, who received a heart transplant in 2005. “To be able to raise awareness for something that has had such a profound impact on my quality of life is amazing. I I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my organ donor.”

While 90 percent of Pennsylvanians support organ and tissue donation, only 46 percent of residents have put the organ 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 transplant.

John Green, Director of Community Relations for Gift of Life Donor Program said, “Educating the public and raising awareness about organ donor registration is critical to saving lives. National Donor Day is a great opportunity to highlight the incredible power of donation by focusing on people who have been saved each year by the gift they were given.  Gift of Life Donor Program’s goal is to get past the myths, stereotypes and statistics that surround it.  We currently have about 5,800 people in our region who are waiting for an organ transplant and it only takes 30 seconds to sign up. Today we are able to show Pennsylvania residents that one of the simplest decisions they’ll ever make can literally save a life.”

Pennsylvania residents can register in 30 seconds by visiting the website at  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 or at

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 the Franklin Institute
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. Pennsylvania’s most visited museum, it is dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access to hands-on science education. For more information, visit