Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network Celebrates National Donate Life Month
March 30th, 2016 by Nancy Ryan
During April, FLDRN focuses on the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation — inspired by sunflowers, and with a full program of events.
April is National Donate Life Month, when Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network (FLDRN) joins organizations, families and individuals across the U.S. to promote the importance of organ, eye and tissue donation.
More than 121,000 adults and children nationwide need a life-saving organ transplant. In New York State, nearly 10,000 people are awaiting transplants, with over 600 of those on a waiting list in our region.
This year’s inspiration: The sunflower
This year’s National Donate Life Month theme is inspired by the mighty sunflower. Rob Kochik, FLDRN’s executive director, explains that the sunflower symbolizes the power of life-giving renewal.
“Sunflowers follow the light throughout their lives, inspiring us to do the same by living life to the fullest,” Mr. Kochik says. “The potential of one sunflower to create an entirely new field of flowers from its thousands of seeds represents the same potential we each have to pass life on by registering as an organ, eye and tissue donor.”
Mr. Kochik is asking the entire community to support Donate Life Month’s message, which is that one organ donor can save up to eight lives, and one eye and tissue donor can improve the lives of up to 50 people.
“Join us at our events in April,” he says, “to help share the messages of organ donation, and to honor organ donors and their families who passed life on.”
Join the Donate Life Registry and pass life on
Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network is encouraging people to have conversations with their families and document their wishes about organ donation. By doing so, family members will have the peace of mind knowing what their loved one wanted.
New Yorkers can also join the Donate Life Registry when they register to vote. The form is available online.
April 2016 program and event highlights
Here are some of the programs and events for National Donate Life Month in the FLDRN area in April:
Throughout April: Cuts for Kids
For a second year in a row, The Shop, a trendy Syracuse barbershop at 3140 Erie Blvd East, is hosting a month-long event in April to raise awareness on organ donation and provide an opportunity to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry. Customers showing the heart of their license will receive $1 off their service. They will earn the honor of signing the Donate Life poster and ringing the special Donate Life bell. MORE INFORMATION
Friday, April 15: National Donate Life Blue & Green Day and Photo Contest
For this important annual program, National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, wear or display the Donate Life colors on April 15 to help raise awareness about organ, eye and tissue donation. Also, people across the U.S. are invited to enter Donate Life America’s Blue & Green Day Photo Contest for a chance to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card. MORE INFORMATION
Friday, April 15: Casino Night
The Donor Family Network is hosting Casino Night on Friday, April 15. It begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Maplewood Suites Extended Stay, 400 7th N St. in Liverpool, NY. Cost of admission is $25. The casino-themed night includes games, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, raffle prizes and music by “DJ Corey.” It is a great way to continue the celebration on National Blue & Green Day. MORE INFORMATION
Sunday, April 17: Rochester River Run/Walk 5K
The 15th annual Rochester River Run/Walk 5K, which promotes organ donation awareness while commemorating organ donors and recipients, takes place on April 17 at Genesee Valley Park (Round House), 99 Elmwood Avenue. Partnered by UR Medicine’s Friends of Strong Memorial Hospital, the hospital’s transplant units, and FLDRN, the Run/Walk 5K is a fundraiser supporting patients waiting for an organ transplant, or transplant recipients on the road to recovery. The morning includes a moving tribute to organ donors, donor families and transplant recipients. On-site registration begins at 8 a.m. INFORMATION FOR THE RUN/WALK REGISTRATION (THROUGH APRIL 15, 2016 AT NOON) AND THE FUNDRAISER
Wednesday, April 20: Syracuse Hospitals’ Donate Life Celebration
Upstate University Hospital and the Syracuse VA are teaming up for a Donate Life Month Celebration on April 20 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Upstate University Hospital, 750 E Adams Street in Syracuse. Hear inspiring stories of organ donation and transplantation; bid on exciting auction items; and enjoy the creative dishes entered in the “Donate Life Health Care Cook off of CNY.” MORE INFORMATION
Friday, April 29: A Gift of Life Unites Two Families in Heart and Song
National Donate Life Month comes to a close with a moving performance and tribute from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The address is 601 Elmwood Ave in Rochester. Members of the public are invited (free admission) to join two mothers, Holly Campbell and Kim Scadlock, as they sing “For Good” from the Broadway musical “Wicked,” and hear how this song and the gift of life will forever connect their families. MORE INFORMATION
National Donate Life Month was instituted by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Celebrated in April each year, Donate Life Month features an entire month of local, regional and national activities to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those that have saved lives through the gift of donation.