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.

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

“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.

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