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The Madison Record

Space center observes Donate Life Month

HUNTSVILLE – The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is involving the Saturn V rocket in the promotion of National Donate Life Month.

National Donate Life Month encourages individuals to save and heal lives through organ, eye, tissue and living donation.

Every April, Donate Life America and organizations like Alabama Organ Center focus state and national attention on how every individual has the potential to make life possible by registering their decision to be an organ, eye and tissue donor. Deciding to be a living donor is another option.

National Blue & Green Day will be celebrated on April 21. Supporters will wear blue and green to raise awareness about donations, Ann Rayburn said. Rayburn is Director of Education and Referral Services with Alabama Organ Center.

During this time, several locations across Alabama will illuminate landmarks in blue or green. The Saturn V rocket at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center will be flooded in blue lighting.

Other sites observing National Blue & Green Day are RSA Tower in Montgomery; Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel; Children’s of Alabama, The Kirklin Clinic at University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, Regions Field and “Birmingham Lights” at four tunnels; Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa; and Vestavia Hills Southern Gateway and Sibyl Temple.

Countless stories demonstrate the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation, Rayburn said. Jan Jones Berry was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes when she was eight year old.

Ultimately, Berry was told that her kidneys were failing. On May 18, 2011, Berry received a life-saving double transplant for a kidney and a pancreas. Jan was cured of an incurable disease because of the generosity of a stranger, Rayburn said.

Research shows that more than 119,000 people are waiting for a transplant and a second chance at life. On average, 22 people die each day because the organ they need is not donated in time.

Alabama Organ Center is the federally-designated, nonprofit organ procurement organization for the state. Individuals can register donor decisions at alabamaorgancenter.org.

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