PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Mike Yates is a Navy veteran. His time in the military included a tour in Japan.

“We used to sail around the South China Sea,” Yates said. “I was at a lot of cool places.”

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On Wednesday, he was at the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s Oakland campus, where he decided to become a donor.

“To help somebody else,” he said. “My dad died, and he only had one kidney, and he suffered.”

Yates said becoming an organ donor was an easy decision.

Educating Pennsylvanians about organ donation is Lindsey Herlinger’s job.

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“We’re trying to raise awareness about organ donation and get as many people as possible to sign up,” said Herlinger. “There’s a lot of misconceptions about organ donation, so we try to help them out and help them understand.”

Donate Life Pennsylvania is a collaboration initiative between the Pennsylvania Departments of Health, Education and Transportation, and Pennsylvania’s organ procurement organizations – the Center for Organ Recovery and Education and the Gift of Life donor program.

Jan. 8 was chosen as the date for the first PA Donor Day. The date 1/8 chosen because one donor can save eight lives.

“I’d rather do nine,” said Yates, “but I’ll do the eight.”