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Crystal Heart Award Presented to Telemundo for Coverage of Organ Donation

MCLEAN, Va., July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Each year the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations (AOPO), in partnership with Donate Life America, recognizes a media outlet that factually reports on the medical miracle of donation and transplantation with the Crystal Heart Award. The award is supported by the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation. Former winners include ESPN for their 2008 coverage of "Ray of Hope," and ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" in 2007.

On Wednesday, June 17th 2009, the AOPO Crystal Heart Award was presented to Telemundo for Maria Celeste's coverage of the 2009 Donate Life Float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Telemundo is a Spanish-language American television network that was launched in 1954. Today, it is the second-largest Spanish-language content producer in the world, according to NBC Universal. The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) notes that over 13,000 Hispanic men, women, and children have given the gift of life through organ donation since record keeping policies were instituted.

Telemundo was honored for positively publicizing the message of donation throughout the Hispanic community. The segment, entitled "Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste" ("Live Red with Maria Celeste"), provided viewers with an honest and compassionate view of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. The segment, which lasted for more than three minutes, featured stories from two Hispanic float riders who were living donor recipients (Gaston Gonzalez and Sergio Gomez), a donor's father who helped decorate a florograph to honor his son (Jose Zaragoza) and a donor's mother who also honored her daughter's memory by assisting in the creation of a florograph (Daria Miller). Broadcasting these personal stories of organ and tissue donation and transplantation leads to increased awareness, which can save lives.

About AOPO

AOPO is a non-profit, national organization representing all federally designated organ procurement organizations (OPOs). The association represents and serves the OPOs through advocacy, support and development of activities that will maximize the availability of organs and tissues and enhance the quality, effectiveness and integrity of the donation process. The Executive Committee of AOPO consists of seven elected officials -- President, President-Elect, Medical Advisor, Secretary-Treasurer, Member-At-Large, Medical Advisor-Elect, Immediate Past President and AOPO's Executive Director

SOURCE Association of Organ Procurement Organizations
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