Raising a Flag and Awareness for Donate Life Month

A group of volunteers organize donations.
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ORANGE CITY, Fla., April 12, 2016 On April 4, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial hosted a flag raising ceremony in celebration of national Donate Life month.

During the event, 56-year-old DeLand resident Michael Beckman, a kidney and pancreas transplant recipient, shared his story.

I had diabetes and was insulin-dependent since I was 14 years old, he said. In 2006, I had a heart attack and was taken to Florida Hospital Fish Memorial. Nine stents later, my kidneys had failed and I was on dialysis for nearly two years. Receiving a pancreas and kidney donation in 2008 literally changed my life. The last eight years have been in the best years of my adult life.

Approximately 122,000 individuals are on a waiting list for an organ transplant, with more than 1,000 under 10 years old - and that is just in the U.S.

Only about half of the U.S. adult population are registered organ, eye and tissue donors. That's why this national health observance strives to raise awareness of the life-changing impact organ donation can have.

My brother needed a liver donation, but sadly, did not receive one, and passed, said Art Bakewell, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial director of pastoral care. Today, we thank and honor those who have extended the lives of others with the generosity of their gifts.

To learn more about national Donate Life month, visit: http://donatelife.net/ndlm/.

About Florida Hospital Fish Memorial

Florida Hospital Fish Memorial is a member of Adventist Health System, a faith-based health care organization with 46 hospital campuses and nearly 8,200 licensed beds in 10 states. With 175-beds, Florida Hospital Fish Memorial is one of the six Florida Hospitals in Volusia and Flagler counties that composes the Florida Hospital East Florida Region. As the largest hospital system in the area, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region has 899 beds and nearly 5,900 employees. With a mission to extend the healing ministry of Christ, the Florida Hospital East Florida Region collectively contributed nearly $120 million in benefits in 2015 to the underprivileged, the community's overall health and wellness and spiritual needs, and capital improvements.

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