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Flag-raising ceremonies honor lifesaving organ donation

Penn State Health and Gift of Life Donor Program team up to raise awareness for National Donate Life Month

Penn State Health honored organ donors and recipients and raised awareness for organ donation at an event on April 10 on the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center campus. The health system’s heart and abdominal transplant teams were joined by representatives of the Gift of Life Donor Program and patients who have benefited from lifesaving organ donations.

The ceremony featured remarks from people whose lives have been transformed by the gift of organ donation. They included Patti and Sarah Miletta, a mother and daughter from the Scranton area who both had heart transplants at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center due to idiopathic cardiomyopathy caused by a rare genetic mutation.

Sarah Miletta, who received her new heart on April 1, 2023, told the crowd that she feels “incredible.” She added: “To my donor family, your loved one is my hero. Please know that I will do everything and anything to keep her heart going and to ensure her legacy lives on. My life is indebted to my hero’s choice, and to all of the donor families here today who also helped give the gift of life.”

Representatives of the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Gift of Life Donor Program also delivered remarks.

Several people pose for a photo at the base of a flagpole where an American flag flies at the top with a Donate Life flag just below it.

Staff from Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center pose for a photo at the base of the hospital’s flagpole, which includes both the American flag and ‘Donate Life’ flag.

A week prior, on April 3, staff and leaders from Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center gathered outside the hospital to celebrate the raising of a ‘Donate Life’ flag there.

Each April, National Donate Life Month honors deceased and living donors and their families, celebrates transplant recipients and recognizes those waiting for a lifesaving transplant. The nonprofit group Donate Life America says more than 100,000 people are waiting for organ transplants. Sixteen people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.

Register to become an organ donor here. When you do, your information will be provided securely to Donate Life America, which is committed to increasing the number of lives saved and healed through organ, eye and tissue donation.

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Donate Life flag-raising ceremony 2024

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