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‘Life is a Beautiful Ride’ During Donate Life Month

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Stephanie Stanley

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WHAT: Donate Life Month, recognized each April, 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.


WHY: Close to 114,000 people in the United States are waiting for an organ transplant, and at least 22 – almost one person per hour – will die each day waiting to receive an organ. Each donor has the potential to save eight lives and help more than 75 people through organ, tissue and cornea donation. 


UPMC is pleased to join the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), Donate Life America and organ procurement organizations throughout the country to commemorate National Donate Life Month. Throughout April, CORE is encouraging individuals to register to become an organ, tissue and cornea donor using the theme that was inspired by bicycles and the phrase “Life is a beautiful ride.” Like the donation and transplantation journey, a bicycle serves as a symbol of progress, renewal and the moving circle of life.


Individuals are encouraged to talk with family members and friends about becoming a donor. 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 7,000 patients in Pennsylvania are awaiting life-saving organ transplants. Thousands of others could benefit from healing tissue transplants. 
  • Kidneys are the organ in greatest demand—with an estimated 95,000 people across the nation awaiting one—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.  
  • Living donation is an option for kidney and liver transplantation—and UPMC is the nation’s leading center for living-donor liver transplants.


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 Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Donate Life Flag-Raising Ceremony
    3 p.m., Friday, March 29, hospital main lobby and outdoor flagpole, UPMC Children’s
  • UPMC Presbyterian Donate Life Flag-Raising Ceremony
    11 a.m., Tuesday, April 2, LHAS Auditorium, UPMC Montefiore
  • UPMC St. Margaret Donate Life Flag-Raising Ceremony
    1:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 3, UPMC St. Margaret
  • UPMC Hamot Donate Life Flag-Raising Ceremony
    10 a.m., Thursday, April 4, UPMC Hamot.
  • UPMC Mercy Donate Life Flag-Raising Ceremony
    1 p.m., Friday, April 5, LHAS Auditorium, UPMC Montefiore. 
  • Dash to Donate 5K
    Sunday, April 7, Registration – 7:30 a.m. | Race begins – 8:30 a.m., Presque Isle State Park.
    Join UPMC Hamot Transplant Services and Hamot Health Foundation to raise awareness for organ donation. 
  • UPMC Shadyside Donate Life Flag-Raising Ceremony
    10 a.m., Tuesday, April 9, UPMC Shadyside
  • National Donate Life Blue and Green Day
    Friday, April 12.
    Staff throughout UPMC hospitals will wear blue and green to support organ donation.
  • UPMC East Donate Life Flag-Raising Ceremony
    11:30 a.m., Friday, April 12, UPMC East
  • UPMC McKeesport Donate Life Flag-Raising Ceremony
    2 p.m., Friday, April 12, UPMC McKeesport
  • Living Donor Celebration
    10 a.m., Saturday, April 13, LHAS Auditorium, UPMC Montefiore.  
  • UPMC Celebration of Life Program
    1 p.m., Friday, April 26, LHAS Auditorium, UPMC Montefiore.  
  • UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Patient Parade
    10 a.m., Saturday, April 27, Eat’n Park Atrium, UPMC Children’s.
    Event to include first-ever mascot dance-off.  


Note to Media: To cover any of the events during Donate Life Month, prearrangements must be made by contacting Lawerence Synett at 412-647-9816 or