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April is National Donate Life Month

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 22 2014 09:05:37 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 23 2014 06:11:22 AM CDT

April is National Donate Life Month.

FOUNTAIN HILL, Pa. -

April is National Donate Life Month.

People in the Lehigh Valley who have been impacted by organ donation shared their stories and are encouraging others to make the choice to become a donor.

They spoke at an event at St. Luke's Hospital in Fountain Hill Tuesday.

Gift of Life Donor Program honored the hospital for its organ donation rate.

"I was diagnosed when I was 12 with an untreatable liver disease and spent the next roughly 10 years in slow decline," said Kevin Geklinsky of Easton. "I received a life-saving liver transplant May 25 of 2010."

"My donor's my hero," he said. "Every morning I wake up, I think of her, I think of her family, I thank them for the fact that I'm here with my family today."

Howard M. Nathan, Gift of Life president and CEO, said, "One donor can save up to 50 people's lives through organ and tissue donation."

Advocates encourage people to become a donor and talk to their family about it.

Debbie Flores' 20 year-old son, Austin, died after a car accident in 2011.

"Being a donor, he was able to share part of his cornea where he was able to help a 21 year-old and a 26 year-old female to see and we're grateful for that," she said. "That's who he was, always giving and helping someone else out."

Learn more information about organ donation.