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Center for Organ Recovery & Education to Honor Organ, Tissue and Cornea Donors with Annual A Special Place Memorial Ceremony

– Nearly 1,000 to Attend Event on May 18 at CORE’s Pittsburgh Headquarters –

PITTSBURGH, May 15, 2014 – This Sunday, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) will once again honor the families of all organ, tissue and cornea donors who have saved or improved the lives of transplant recipients during its annual memorial ceremony, A Special Place.  Relatives and friends of 2013 donors will gather for the event from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at CORE’s Pittsburgh headquarters in RIDC Park, 204 Sigma Drive.

“Each spring, A Special Place draws hundreds of people who know the impact of organ, tissue and cornea donation firsthand,” said Susan Stuart, president and CEO of CORE.  “Just like the renewed life that spring offers, organ, tissue and cornea donation provides those awaiting a transplant with a new beginning. Through the generous gifts of our donors, our recipients receive a second chance at life or the opportunity for a better life.  On Sunday, we look forward to honoring the individuals impacted by donation over the past year.”

The ceremony will feature a dedication song in honor of the donor families performed by Timothy Woodruff of Wilkinsburg. Woodruff is the winner of CORE’s inaugural Gospel Idol.  Those in attendance will also hear moving stories from such people as Linda Barrasse of Scranton, PA.  Her son, Cody was an organ, tissue and cornea donor.  He died at the age of 22 in Pittsburgh in 2013.  Marty Brown of Corry, PAwill share his story, as he is currently awaiting a heart transplant.  Through this experience, he is grateful to have the opportunity to talk to and educate others about the need for more organ donors.  Dalton Igoe, a 17-year-old from Altoona, PA, will talk about receiving a new heart and a second chance at life in 2012.  A junior at Altoona Area High School, Dalton also volunteers for CORE and with his local EMS as a first responder.  He is passionate about organ donation awareness and committed to helping others understand its importance.

The ceremony will include a dove and balloon release, along with a re-dedication of the Special Place wall, a granite wall surrounding a park-like setting at CORE’s headquarters that commemorates donors.

Nationally, more than 122,000 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.

EDITORS/REPORTERS:  To RSVP your attendance at the event, please contact Elizabeth Bacheson (elizabeth.bacheson@elias-savion.com or 412-642-7700.)

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 www.core.org or call 1-800-DONORS-7.

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