April 1, 2016
VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center raises flag for National Donate Life Month
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In recognition of National Donate Life Month in April, the VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center hosted a ceremony today marking the raising of a flag outside VCU Medical Center. The white, blue and green flag, which is adorned with the Donate Life logo, will fly throughout the month. After April, the flag will be raised whenever an organ donation occurs at VCU Health and the Hume-Lee Transplant Center from a living or deceased donor. Starting in May, whenever the flag is raised outside of VCU Medical Center, the digital billboards on Interstate 64 will also change to notify the community of an organ donation.
Hume-Lee Transplant Center Director Marlon Levy, M.D., and United Network for Organ Sharing CEO Brian Shepard attended the event, along with approximately 75 people from VCU Health and the Richmond community.
“We are really here to celebrate true acts of heroism and selflessness on the part of organ donors and their families,” Levy said to the crowd, which included many people who had donated organs in the past. “It is important to VCU and it is important to Richmond, which has such a story to tell in transplantation.”
Physicians at VCU performed the first human kidney and liver transplants in Virginia’s history, and the Hume-Lee Transplant Center is now one of the leading transplant programs in the U.S.
Donate Life America established National Donate Life Month in an effort to spearhead local, regional and national activities that encourage Americans to register as organ donors. The month is also an opportunity to celebrate the lives of those who have provided the gift of organ donation.
According to Donate Life America, nearly 124,000 men, women and children are awaiting organ transplants in the United States, including 3,200 Virginians.
“Today is the first day of Donate Life Month, but for us every day is donate life day,” Shepard said. “We look forward to the work that we will continue to do to transform lives all over this country and especially right here in Virginia.”
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