Posted on April 25, 2017
Throughout the month of April, in celebration of National Donate Life Month, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, along with The Living Legacy Foundation, Maryland’s organ procurement organization, and Donate Life Maryland, has been flying the Donate Life Flag in honor of past, present, and future organ, eye, and tissue donors and donors in spirit. The “Flags Across Maryland” campaign, in conjunction with the national “Flags Across America” campaign, brings a greater awareness to the nearly 120,000 people waiting nationally for a life-saving organ transplant. In Maryland alone, about 3,700 people are anxiously waiting for a second chance at life.
“’Flags Across Maryland’ is an opportunity to publicly recognize the profound generosity of families who have offered the gift of life to others while experiencing a personal loss of a friend or family member,” said Sheri Matter, PRMC Vice President of Patient Care Services. “We are excited to participate in this campaign, along with The Living Legacy Foundation and Donate Life Maryland, to bring awareness to organ, eye, and tissue donation.”
Peninsula Regional Medical Center raises the Donate Life flag every time someone becomes an organ donor. A private ceremony is held for family members at that time if they wish it. In 2016, there were 28 organ and tissue donors from Peninsula Regional.
With more than two million Marylanders already making the decision to designate themselves as organ, eye, and tissue donors, either through the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration or the Maryland Donor Registry at www.donatelifemaryland.org, this statewide initiative will encourage others to make the decision to be a donor.
The “Flags Across America” campaign began in Southern California in 2008, when a nurse sent out a single email urging hospitals to “fly the flag at as many places as possible in April.” Since then, it is estimated that more than 25,000 flags have been flown in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. Flags are flown at hospitals, transplant centers, donation agencies, funeral homes, and motor vehicle administrations. These flags bring hope to donor families and transplant recipients alike.