‘You could give life,’ Pittsburgh mayor says of organ donation month
Retired Pittsburgh Police Officer Brenda Tate said she couldn’t bear watching her brother deteriorate from kidney disease two years ago, so she became a chain organ donor allowing him to receive a new kidney.
At 68, Tate of the Hill District donated her kidney to a man in Erie. The man’s wife donated a kidney to someone in Pittsburgh, she said. The chain included seven other donors, and Tate’s brother received a kidney from a woman in New Castle.
“My brother is doing really well now,” she said.
Tate, now 70, joined Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Friday and representatives from the Center for Organ Recovery and Education in celebrating National Donate Life Month during a ceremony in they mayor’s offices.
Guests included Craig Smith, 31, of Brighton Heights, a heart recipient, and Sue and Max Sciullo of Bloomfield, the parents of Pittsburgh Police Officer Paul Sciullo, an organ donor killed in the line of duty 10 years ago.
The Sciullos said more than 50 people have benefited from their son’s donation of corneas and tissue. Joy Starzl, wife of late Pittsburgh organ transplant pioneer Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, also attended.
Colleen Sullivan, CORE’s communications director, said nearly 114,000 people around the country are currently awaiting organ transplants, including 7,000 in Pennsylvania and 2,000 in Pittsburgh. She said 48 percent of Pennsylvania residents are registered organ donors and encouraged the public to register.
“We can do better than that,” Sullivan said. “We can encourage more folks to say yes to donation. Our hope is that one day everyone that needs a life-saving transplant will receive that transplant.”
Peduto presented the organization with a proclamation from the city and said the City-County Building, Downtown, would be lighted in blue and green colors Friday night to encourage organ donation.
“You can give the greatest give that you could ever give in your life,” the mayor said. “You could give life.”
Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .