Saint Vincent College will participate in a “Play It Forward Pittsburgh” event to raise organ donation awareness on Dec. 2 in the Robert S. Carey Student Center.
The event will take place during the women’s and men’s doubleheader basketball game against Waynesburg University at 4 and 6 p.m., respectively.
The Citrone Family Foundation — led by Steelers part-owners Cindy and Rob Citrone — began the “Play It Forward Pittsburgh” campaign in Sept. 2017.
The campaign has since partnered with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates and Penguins along with over two dozen additional organizations from the Pittsburgh area.
Saint Vincent announced on the college’s website that “Organ donors and recipients present at the games will be recognized and information will be available for anyone interested in registration as a donor.”
“Play It Forward Pittsburgh” states on the campaign website that its goal is to “establish Pittsburgh as the national leader in organ donation, and transform the way Pittsburgh residents feel about organ donation and transplantation.”
The website also states that there are currently over 117,000 people on the national organ transplant waitlist, including more than 7,700 in Pennsylvania.
Bob Baum, dean of students, received a kidney transplant from a living donor in Sept. 2010.
A video on Saint Vincent’s YouTube channel features Baum and his wife, Courtney, director of the career center, who describe the impact that organ donation has had on their lives.
“Organ donation is one of the very few opportunities that a person has in their life to directly affect and save another person’s life,” Bob Baum said.
Another member of the Saint Vincent community, Katie Harwick, donated a kidney to her brother when she was 14.
Harwick, a junior psychology major, says she was the only member of her family whose kidney was a compatible match.
“I really urge anyone and everyone to be a donor. There’s no feeling quite as incredible as saving a life,” Harwick said. “I’m not saying you have to hand out your organs like free candy, but things as simple as donating blood are quick, easy and life-saving.
Harwick says donating to her brother was a “no brainer.”
“Having one kidney really does not affect me negatively, all that there is to show for it is a little scar on the left side of my upper belly,” Harwick said.
“I really don’t live any differently than people with two kidneys do.”
Interested donors may register at the “Play It Forward Event” or online at playitforwardpgh.org/registration.
Photos: Saint Vincent College YouTube; Katie Harwick