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The Gift of Life: UPMC Honors Donors, Recipients During Donate Life Month

WHAT: Donate Life Month is an annual commemoration of organ donors and the recipients they have helped. At UPMC, the month will begin with a Donate Life flag raising and be followed by a series of events designed to honor organ donors, celebrate recipients and spread awareness of the importance of signing up to become an organ donor.
WHO: UPMC hospital leadership, transplant surgeons and nurses, organ donor families and transplant recipients. Many events also are open to the public.
WHEN: A variety of events are planned throughout April, including: 
  • UPMC Donate Life Flag Raising Ceremony:
    10 a.m., Wednesday, April 1, 2015
    LHAS Auditorium, UPMC Montefiore
  • National Donate Life Blue and Green Day:
    Friday, April 17, 2015
    Cookies encouraging organ donation will be distributed throughout UPMC Montefiore and UPMC Presbyterian.
  • Donate Life Month Patient Parade:
    10 a.m.,Thursday, April 23, 2015
    Transplant recipients will visit with doctors, nurses and staff at UPMC Montefiore and UPMC Presbyterian.
  • Organ Donor Awareness Day:
    Thursday, April 23, 2015
    Donor registration tables will be set up throughout UPMC hospitals.
  • UPMC Celebration of Life Program:
    2 p.m., Tuesday, April 28, 2015
    Biomedical Science Tower, Oakland
WHY: More than 123,000 people in the United States are waiting for an organ transplant, and at least 18 will die each day without receiving one. Each organ and tissue donor has the potential to save eight lives and help more than 50 people.
UPMC is pleased to join the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) and organ procurement organizations throughout the country to commemorate National Donate Life Month. Throughout April, CORE is encouraging individuals to make the Pledge for Life and register to become an organ, tissue and cornea donor. 
Individuals are encouraged to talk with family members and friends about making the Pledge for Life to become a donor. Each person that signs up to become a donor can help up to 50 people through organ, tissue and cornea donation. To sign up, visit
Some important facts about organ, tissue and cornea donation:
  • Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race or medical history.
  • More than 8,800 patients in Pennsylvania are awaiting life-saving organ transplants. Thousands of others could benefit from life-enhancing tissue transplants.
  • At least 100,000 people across the nation are awaiting a kidney—the organ in greatest demand—followed by liver, heart and lungs.
  • Because conditions such as diabetes and hypertension often are more prevalent in the multicultural community, these individuals make up more than 50 percent of those on the national organ transplant list. 
Media wishing to cover any of the events during Donate Life Month should contact Rick Pietzak at 412-523-6922 or  

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