Families Impacted by Organ Donation, State Officials and Organ Donation Organizations Celebrate National Donate Life Month
As a celebration of National Donate Life Month, Donate Life PA, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) and Gift of Life Donor Program came together with donor and recipient families to highlight the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation. The event was hosted in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Department of Health at the Driver’s License Center in Enola, PA.
Observed in April each year, National Donate Life Month helps raise awareness about donation, encouraging Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors, and honor heroes who have saved lives through the gift of donation.
“We each have the power to help save lives by signing up to become an organ donor. The need is urgent with more than 7,000 children and adults across Pennsylvania on the transplant waitlist. They are our family, friends and neighbors,” said Rick Hasz, president and CEO of Gift of Life Donor Program. “Almost 50 percent of Pennsylvanians are registered as donors. If more people make the generous, compassionate decision to sign up – which takes less than a minute – we can provide more patients with a second chance a life.”
As a centerpiece of this annual event, donor families and transplant recipients had the opportunity to share their inspiring stories, illustrating the critical importance of organ donation.
“Don’t take your organs to heaven, heaven knows we need them here,” said Shelly Gearhart, who volunteers with CORE in honor of her mother and her mother’s donor and works at PennDOT registering new donors. “You were born with the ability to change someone’s life. Don’t waste it, donate life!”
The event also celebrated today as National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, when the public is encouraged to wear blue and green – the recognized colors of organ donation organizations – and engage in sharing the Donate Life message, encouraging others to register as organ, eye and tissue donors.
“National Donate Life Month is a time when we recognize the power of organ, tissue and cornea donation to save and heal lives, and mobilize and inspire our local communities to register as donors,” said Susan Stuart, president & CEO of CORE. “Most importantly though, National Donate Life Month is a time when we honor the generous donors and donor families whose decision to give the gift of life has provided hope and healing to so many in our community.”
Every 9 minutes, another person added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list, and thousands die every year waiting for a transplant. But just one generous donor can save up to eight lives or help more than 75 people through organ, eye and tissue donation. Learn more at donatelifepa.org.