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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 Aste
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SOURCE Astellas
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