Center for Organ Recovery & Education Honors Organ Donors in West Virginia with Second Annual A Special Place Memorial Ceremony

Pittsburgh, October 13, 2013 – The Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), a federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organization (OPO) serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and parts of New York, honored the families of all organ, tissue and cornea donors in West Virginia who have saved or improved the lives of transplant recipients in 2012 with the second annual Special Place memorial ceremony. West Virginia donors and recipients, relatives and friends of those organ donors gathered for the event on Sunday, October 13, 2013 at the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences in Charleston, WV (1 Clay Square, Charleston, WV 25301).

“A Special Place is a moving ceremony, and it demonstrates that people can truly change lives when they make A Pledge for Life by becoming an organ, tissue and cornea donor,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE. “The ceremony is CORE’s way of giving our donor families the opportunity to pay tribute to their loved one’s final gift as a donor, and to recognize the hope that they gave to those awaiting a second chance at life.”

Those in attendance heard moving stories from people such as Lisa Johnson, a donor mom who honored the legacy of her daughter, Jasmine, who was a donor. Kassidy Williams, liver recipient and her mother, Anatlia Williams, shared their story of how organ donation has touched their lives. Additionally, Dr. Douglas Haden, pulmonologist/ICU intensivist at Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC), offered his perspective as an advocate of organ, tissue and cornea donation.

The ceremony also included a performance by the Appalachian Children’s Chorus and a dove release.

Nationally, more than 119,000 people are awaiting an organ transplant. At least 18 will die each day without receiving one, including two from CORE’s service area. For every person who donates their organs, tissues and corneas, up to 50 lives can be saved or dramatically improved.

For more information about CORE, visit or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

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 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. For more information, visit or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

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