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Health: Donate Life Month

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — April is Donate Life Month to raise awareness about the need for more people to become organ donors, to save lives. Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl is On Your Side with more.

Each person who becomes an organ donor can potentially save eight lives. But experts say there’s been a decline recently in the number of organs donated. Doctors and families gathered at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia today in hopes of reversing that trend.

Three-year-old Riley O’Brien is waiting for a heart-lung transplant to save his life.

“I know what it will take for my son to have a chance at life, and what kind of tragedy it will most likely take,” said Carol O’Brien, Riley’s mother. She and her son were at CHOP for the kickoff of National Donate Life month.

“This is really a call to get everyone involved, to stress the need for organ donation,” said Dr. Steven Altschuler, Chief Executive of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Currently there are over 350 children waiting for organ donations in the Philadelphia region. At CHOP they see lives transformed with transplants.

“How this gift has changed the lives of so many sick children, bringing them back to a life full of fun, activity, laughter, and joy. And this is why we do what we do,” said Dr. Kimberly Olthoff, Director of the Transplant Center at Children’s Hospital.
Madison Kahn, 12, had two kidney transplants.

“Organ donation really helps kids, so you really should think about it cause it will save a couple of kids lives,” said Madison.

In addition to saving lives, organ donation can restore vision, and help up to 50 patients who need tissue transplants.

RELATED LINKS:
Register To Become A Donor- http://www.donors1.org/chop/
CHOP Transplant Services Information- http://www.chop.edu/service/transplant-center/donate-life-month.html
Follow Riley O’Brien’s Journey To Get His Organs – http://www.smile4riley.com

Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3

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