April is national donate life month, and Erie's UPMC Hamot and CORE are teaming up to help raise awareness.


A ceremony Friday at UPMC Hamot honored transplant donors and recipients.

It's also to raise awareness to the importance of organ donation.

CORE, The Center for Organ Recovery and Education, says 120,000 people in the US are on the waiting list for an organ, and 21 of them will die every day because an organ isn't available.

"One person just through organ donation can save up to 8 lives," said Marty Brown of Corry, who is needs a heart transplant. "Through organ tissue and corneal donation, they can enhance the lives of 150 people, from one person, that's a lot of people. And for all of that to go to waste because it's going in the ground with you, that's a problem to me," Brown added.

"Just everybody please donate," said Susan Stuart, President and CEO of Core. "Register, make that pledge for life. You can make a difference and save somebody's life," Stuart added.

Starting this summer, UPMC Hamot will begin performing kidney transplants.

It'll be a first for Erie, and first time UPMC will do transplants outside of Pittsburgh.