UHC amongst others in WV to celebrate Donate Life Month

April 16 marks Blue and Green Day--part of Donate Life America’s National Donate Life Month.
Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 6:20 AM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - On Friday, April 16, National Donate Life Blue & Green Day is celebrated as part of Donate Life America’s National Donate Life Month. Observed in April each year, National Donate Life Month features an entire month of activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to honor those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.

In our area, the United Hospital Center (UHC) partnered with the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) to celebrate Donate Life Month. At the beginning of the month,  UHC and CORE held a flag raising ceremony. The flag will be visible throughout the month of April to also help bring awareness and register more organ, tissue and cornea donors.

Close to 113,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant nationally, with 2,500 of those waiting being from western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Without the transplant, it could leave 20 people dead each day.

“We need for people to register themselves to be organ donors, this way we can reduce that number and save lives,” said the CORE director of professional services and regulatory affairs, Christie Ryan.

Already UHC has worked to make sure they can be a part of the change needed.

“Just as we do year-round, this April, UHC will be working with CORE to save and heal lives through organ, tissue and cornea donation,” said an UHC RN and clinical director of Critical Care, Kara Elko.

“Last year, through our shared commitment to donation, United Hospital made possible three lifesaving organ transplants, the gift of sight was given to eight grateful cornea recipients and 300 individuals received a tissue transplant,” Ryan said.

On average, 11,000 people die annually who are considered medically suitable to donate organs, tissue and corneas, yet only a fraction donate when anyone at any age, race or medical history could be a donor. That is the main point officials hope to get across.

“National Donate Life Month is a time for all West Virginians to come together as a community, to honor donors and donor families and to register as organ donors to potentially save the lives of our family, friends and neighbors,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. “One donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of 75 others through tissue and corneal donation.”

To sign up and become a donor, you can do so here. You may also become a donor when getting or renewing a license or identification card at the Division of Motor Vehicles, or when getting a hunting or fishing license.

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