Making A Pledge for Life: The Importance of Organ, Tissue and Cornea Donation

By: Misty Enos, R.N., C.P.T.C.

Did you know that more than 117,000 people across the United States are waiting for an organ transplant?  Eight thousand of those individuals are here in Pennsylvania. Eighteen people will die each day without receiving one. And one organ, tissue and cornea donor can help up to 50 transplant patients.

Those are sobering statistics. Unfortunately, the number of people in need of transplants far exceeds the number of organ, tissue and corneas that are donated. 

At the Center for Organ Recovery & Educationor CORE, one of the primary goals is to educate people on the need to make A Pledge for Life and become an organ, tissue and cornea donor.  CORE also works closely with donor families and doctors across our area to coordinate the recovery of organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation.  CORE then handles the matching process – finding the right tissues and organs for those in need of a transplant.  With headquarters in Pittsburgh and an office in Charleston, W.Va., CORE oversees a region that encompasses 155 hospitals and almost six million people throughout western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, N.Y.

Consider this:

  • Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race or medical history.
  • All major religions in the United States support organ, tissue and cornea donation and see it as the final act of love and generosity toward others. 

April is National Donate Life Month, and throughout the month, CORE is encouraging individuals to make A Pledge for Life and register to become an organ, tissue and cornea donor.  

Look for the “Organ Donor” designation when you receive or renew your driver’s license. You can also go online to  to sign up to become a donor. Show your support by adding your organ donor designation to your Facebook timeline.  Registering to become a donor only takes about 90 seconds, but it can make the difference of a lifetime.
For more information about CORE and to learn how you can get involved, visit
Misty Enos is the associate director of Community Outreach for the Center for Organ Recovery & Education, one of 58 federally designated not-for-profit organ procurement organizations in the United States. CORE talks with families about the opportunity to donate and coordinates the surgical recovery of organs, tissue and corneas, as well as the computerized matching of donated organs and placement of corneas.