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

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Wendy Zellner
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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.
WHY: More than 121,000 people in the United States are waiting for an organ transplant, and at least 22 will die each day without receiving one. Each donor has the potential to save eight lives and help more than 50 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 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. 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 8,500 patients in Pennsylvania are awaiting life-saving organ transplants. Thousands of others could benefit from life-enhancing tissue transplants.
• With over 100,000 people across the nation awaiting a kidney, kidneys are 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. 
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., Friday, April 1, LHAS Auditorium, UPMC Montefiore
• National Donate Life Blue and Green Day
Friday, April 15. Cookies encouraging organ donation will be distributed throughout UPMC Montefiore and UPMC Presbyterian.
• Donate Life Month Patient Parade
10 a.m., Wednesday, April 20. Transplant recipients will visit with doctors, nurses and staff at UPMC Montefiore and UPMC Presbyterian.
• Organ Donor Awareness Day
Wednesday, April 20. Donor registration tables will be set up throughout UPMC hospitals.
• UPMC Celebration of Life Program
2 p.m., Wednesday, April 27, Biomedical Science Tower, Oakland 
Note to Media: To cover any of the events during Donate Life Month, contact Lawerence Synett at 412-647-9816 or