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Local Man's Newspaper Ad Spurs Organ Donors to Action

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An elderly Media, Pa. man who wanted to call attention to the need for organ and tissue donors took out a full-page ad yesterday in a Philadelphia newspaper.

But KYW’s Michelle Durham reports that the advertisement contained a few mistakes that had potential donors confused.

Robert Rehrmann, 84, says his brother’s friend waited two years for a life-saving kidney transplant.  Rehrmann’s late sister was an organ donor, so he understood that more donors were needed:

“I realized that there is no publicity about this. You don’t hear about this on the radio, newspapers, or TV. Why isn’t this known?”

(Story continues below…)

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His  published ad (above) advised readers to contact Jefferson Hospital to donate their bodies to the hospital for transplant.

But according to “Gift of Life” spokesperson John Green, that’s not how it works:

“You register as an organ and tissue donor, and if the opportunity comes that you are able to be a donor, then we’ll do the testing and we’ll consult the waiting list and whoever is the most medically needy will be getting those organs and tissues.”

What Rehrmann accidentally did was to register to donate his body to medical science for educational purposes.  That’s why he thought Jefferson Hospital would accept organ donations directly from donors.

Humanity Gifts Registry spokesperson Clarizza Murray says they can fix Rehrmann’s error.  Still, she says, she’s grateful because his ad has caused their phones to ring with inquiries from interested parties.

Rehrmann says he will fix his own error and re-register with “Gift of Life” — but he’s glad his ad has prompted people to act.

(Photo by KYW’s Ed Fischer)