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Step to the Plate - Register to Donate Aims to Educate Baseball Fans About the Importance of Organ Donation and Increase Registrations
Date:5/18/2009

DEERFIELD, Ill., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- As the number of people awaiting lifesaving organ transplants in the United States continues to climb - currently more than 100,000 people are on the waiting list - it is more important than ever for people who support donation to become registered donors. Today, Astellas Pharma US, Inc., in partnership with Donate Life, launches Step to the Plate - Register to Donate, a national campaign to reinforce the importance of organ donation, share stories of those changed by the miracle of transplantation and provide the public with the information they need to join their state organ donation registries.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090518/NY18227)

The program uses the setting of Major League Baseball(TM) (MLB) and Minor League Baseball(TM) (MiLB) games to spread the message that every person has the power to save lives through organ donation. The program also recognizes the important contributions of members of the transplant and donation communities, including recipients, donors, organ procurement organizations, physicians, surgeons and transplant center staff.

"An average of 18 people die each day waiting for available organs. Therefore, it's imperative that we educate people about donation and provide information and access to allow them to register to donate," said Maribeth Landwehr, Director, Corporate Communications for Astellas.

Event activities will include a pre-game ceremony featuring local members of the donation and transplant communities, a special "first pitch" by a local transplant recipient and between-inning contests. Fans will have an opportunity during the game to join their state organ donor registry. Also, the first 500 entrants to the ballpark at each MiLB game will receive a free giveaway featuring the Donate Life and Astellas logos.

Step to the Plate - Register to Donate will visit 11 ballparks during the 2009 baseball season.

                       Step to the Plate - Register to Donate
                                   2009 Schedule

            Team                     City                    Date

            Chicago Cubs             Chicago, IL             5/25/09

            Potomac Nationals        Washington, D.C.        6/7/09

            San Antonio Missions     San Antonio, TX         6/12/09

            Rochester Red Wings      Rochester, NY           6/21/09

            Brooklyn Cyclones        Brooklyn, NY            6/28/09

            Trenton Thunder          Trenton, NJ             6/28/09

            Winston-Salem Dash       Winston-Salem, NC       6/28/09

            Lowell Spinners          Lowell, MA              7/9/09

            Palm Beach Cardinals     Palm Beach, FL          7/18/09

            Portland Beavers         Portland, OR            7/18/09

            San Francisco Giants     San Francisco, CA       7/30/09

About Donate Life America

Donate Life America is a non-for-profit alliance of national organizations and state teams across the United States, serving as a national voice and inspiring all people to save and enhance lives through organ, eye and tissue donation. For more information, visit www.donatelife.net.

About Astellas

Astellas is a recognized leader in transplantation and has been committed to the field of immunology for more than 20 years. Dedicated to supporting the advancement of care for patients, Astellas continues to build upon its legacy and leadership in transplantation by investing in ongoing clinical research and new product development.

Astellas Pharma US, Inc., located in Deerfield, Illinois, is a US affiliate of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. The organization is committed to becoming a global category leader in focused areas by combining outstanding R&D and marketing capabilities. In the US, Astellas markets products in the areas of Immunology, Urology, Anti-Infectives, Cardiovascular and Dermatology. For more information about Astellas Pharma US, Inc., please visit our Web site at www.AstellasTransplant.com.


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SOURCE Astellas
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