PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — More than a thousand gathered over the weekend to remember what they had been through together.
Some celebrated with music. Others chose to make decorative quilts. All wanted celebrate lives extended through organ donation.
“It’s been over 300-400 individuals who have benefited from organ donation and greater than 50,000 that have benefitted from tissue donation,” said Center For Organ Recovery And Education CEO Susan Stuart said.
And that was just last year here in Western Pennsylvania. One recipient is Kyrie Beachem. She walks the halls with what could be her two mothers after a life-saving transplant last Fall.
“Her liver was failing horribly, and the day before Thanksgiving, they told us they had a match and later that day she went into surgery for 13 hours and she’s been doing very well since then,” said Nan Beachem.
Evelyn Morales’ daughter passed away when she was five, but because she was an organ donor, Kyrie is alive today.
While she is still too young to fully understand what happened, the family knows what a long wait it was.
“She had been waiting for a multi organ transplant for five years,” Beachem said.
More than a thousand people participated in the event at the Center For Organ Recovery and Education. While many have been helped, they all know there is more that can be done.
“21 people die every day without an organ, and so the awareness and the great need to make that pledge for life is critical,” Stuart said.