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Center for Organ Recovery & Education Encourages Individuals to Give the Gift of Sight (WV)

West Virginia House of Delegates Commemorates National Eye Donor Month with Citation

Pittsburgh, March 2, 2015 – March is National Eye Donor Month, and what better gift to give someone else than the gift of sight?  The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is encouraging individuals to register to become a cornea donor in honor of this national observance.  Additionally, the Office of the Speaker of the House of Delegates, Tim Armstead, has declared March as “Eye Donor Month” across the state, encouraging all citizens to educate themselves, their families and their communities about cornea donation and transplantation.

“West Virginians have long benefited from sight-restoring cornea transplants,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE.  “With CORE’s partnership with the Medical Eye Bank of West Virginia, CORE helped to facilitate the gift of sight for 244 people in West Virginia in 2014. This month, we hope to continue to increase awareness for cornea donation so that many more across the state will be afforded the same opportunity to receive the life-enhancing gift of sight.”

CORE’s onsite eye bank at its Pittsburgh headquarters allows its eye bank specialists to work efficiently in evaluating and distributing corneas to meet the needs of cornea transplant surgeries both regionally and nationally. With more than 95 percent of all cornea transplants being successful in restoring vision, cornea donors make the gift of sight a reality for more than 46,000 people each year.

National Eye Donor Month was established in 1983 by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and is commemorated each year with a proclamation to note this special public awareness month.  A member of Congress continues this tradition by reading a proclamation into the Congressional Record each March.

Anyone can be a potential cornea donor regardless of age, race or medical history.  It only takes 30 seconds to sign up at www.donatelifewv.org or www.core.org.

About 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 deliver the gift of hope by coordinating the surgical recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation.  CORE also facilitates the computerized matching of donated organs, tissues and 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.  For more information, visit www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

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