Pittsburgh, PA — May 11 — Mayor William Peduto on Wednesday joined Pittsburghers who have been personally impact by organ and tissue donation including Max and Sue Sciullo – whose son, Pittsburgh Police Officer Paul Sciullo II, became a tissue donor after he was killed in the line of duty in 2009.
They spoke alongside the Center for Organ Recovery & Education at a press conference to announce a new organ donor registration outreach initiative by Donate Life Pennsylvania at the North Side T Station.
The initiative asks “Which Side Are You On?” to highlight the fact that 90 percent of people say they support organ and tissue donation, but only 46 percent of Pennsylvania residents are registered organ and tissue donors.
On select dates during the month of May, Donate Life Pennsylvania representatives will canvass the North Side T Station and encourage riders to become registered organ and tissue donors. Canvassers will help people register using donatelifepa.org/registration.
“We heard powerful stories today about lives that have been saved and families that are comforted with the knowledge that their loved ones live on through others. We heard about one of our native sons whose heroic service continued on even after he gave his life to protect us,” said Mayor Peduto.
“Those stories are only possible because people like you and me made the choice to register as organ donors. It is a good deed that only takes 30 seconds to complete, but can make a lifetime of difference. I urge every Pittsburgher to choose to be on the right side of this life-saving issue.”
“My son became a police officer because he wanted to make a difference. That is the same reason he registered as an organ and tissue donor. I am comforted to know that his decision to be on the right side of donation means that he continues to make a difference for others,” said Max Sciullo.
“I urge everyone who is considering registering as an organ donor to think about your family. Think about the comfort it would bring them to know that part of you lives on, helping other people.”
“We’ve always encouraged people to register as organ donors, but we’ve found over the years that some people think the process takes too long, believe they are already registered when they actually aren’t, or simply don’t know how to sign up. This outreach initiative is our attempt raise public awareness about organ donation and help with the registration process, which is now easier than ever. We also want to challenge people who support donation but haven’t yet registered as donors to take that next step,” said Katelynn Metz, Community Outreach Coordinator with the Center for Organ Recovery & Education in Pittsburgh.
Donate Life Pennsylvania representatives will be available with tablet computers to register people on the spot. The whole process takes less than 30 seconds and all information is directly transmitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
In addition to canvassers, the effort includes a “takeover” of the North Side T Station with advertisements that range from playful to thought-provoking. Examples can be viewed here: donatelifepa.org/media-press/latest-ad-campaign
More than 8,000 Pennsylvanian residents currently are on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant. Each organ donor can save up to eight lives and each tissue donor can improve up to 50 lives. Anyone regardless of age or medical history can sign up to be a donor, there is no cost to donors and their families, and all major religions in the United States support organ donation and consider donation as a final act of love and generosity toward others. Registering as an organ donor only takes 30 seconds and can be done at donatelifepa.org/registration.
About Donate Life PA
Donate Life PA is a collaborative initiative between Gift of Life Donor Program (GOL), the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) – the two organ procurement organizations serving Pennsylvania – and the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Transportation. It is funded by state residents through voluntary contributions included with driver’s license renewals, vehicle registrations and state income tax filings. All contributions are used by the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund to educate residents, build awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation, and increase the number of people who sign up to become donors on their driver’s license, learner’s permit or state identification card. Visit us at DonateLifePA.org or at Facebook.com/DonateLifePennsylvania.
About the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE)
The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the United States. CORE works closely with donor families and designated health care professionals to coordinate the surgical recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation. CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs and placement of corneas. With headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Charleston, West Virginia, CORE oversees a region that encompasses 155 hospitals and almost six million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, NY.