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Transplant Expo Launches in Boston to Educate About Miracle of Transplantation and Address Organ Donor Shortage
Date:5/26/2009

DEERFIELD, Ill., May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- In Massachusetts alone, nearly 3,000 people are on the waiting list for lifesaving organ transplants and the number continues to grow. Meanwhile, only 41 percent of licensed drivers in Massachusetts are registered donors, ranking the state 32nd in the country for the percentage of licensed drivers registered, according to the 2009 National Donor Designation Report Card issued by Donate Life America.

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Also, a recent survey conducted by Donate Life America, with support from Astellas Pharma US, Inc. (Astellas), found that people in Massachusetts were significantly more likely than all adults nationwide to have not signed up because they "don't have time" or "haven't gotten around to it" (22 percent versus 7 percent nationwide). Donate Life New England is launching an online registry this spring in an effort to simplify the registration process.

"There is an organ availability crisis taking place in Massachusetts and around the country," said David Fleming, Executive Director, Donate Life America. "It is important for the donation and transplant community to continue to educate people about how to register and drive people to take that action."

Transplant Expo and Making Strides Run/Walk Aim to Inspire and Incite Action

Saturday, May 30, through Monday, June 1, the Transplant Expo, hosted by Astellas, will visit The Shops at Prudential Center, Belvidere Arcade, 800 Boylston Street. The Expo provides an intimate look at the wonders of transplantation and the dedicated heroes who help make it possible, as well as explores the art and science of transplantation, the history of transplantation and inspirational stories of heroic donors. Volunteers from Donate Life New England will be on-site to answer questions and provide visitors with the opportunity to join the state donor registry.

On May 30 and May 31, those visiting the Transplant Expo will have the opportunity to receive a complimentary ticket to Inspiring Action, an evening hosted by The Creative Coalition featuring leaders and personalities from film and television who will participate in a one night performance that brings attention and inspiration to the vital need for health care reform and support for organ donation. The Creative Coalition is the leading nonprofit, nonpartisan, social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. The event will take place Sunday evening, May 31 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.

Also, on Sunday, May 31, from noon until 4 p.m., Chris Klug, bronze medalist snowboarder and liver transplant recipient, will be on-site at the Expo to greet attendees. On Monday, June 1 at 6 a.m., Astellas First Annual Making Strides: A 5K Run/Walk for Organ Donation will take place on the banks of Boston's Charles River. Transplant professionals attending the American Transplant Congress, as well as the public are invited to run or walk to show their support for the transplant community. For every finisher, Astellas will donate $1 - up to $20,000 total - to the National Transplant Assistance Fund (NTAF), a 501c3 nonprofit organization that helps transplant patients (hopefuls and recipients) afford critical but uninsured medically related expenses through fundraising guidance, patient resources and support, as well as financial assistance. Celebrating 25 years of service, NTAF has helped patients, their families and communities nationwide raise more than $58 million (and counting) for out-of-pocket expenses related to transplantation.

"Astellas is proud to launch the Transplant Expo and Making Strides Run/Walk in Boston as part of our continued efforts to reach the public with accurate and compelling messages about organ donation and transplantation," said Maribeth Landwehr, Director, Corporate Communications for Astellas. "We hope people from around the area will visit the Expo and take the dynamic journey through the legacy of transplantation, as well as show their support for the transplant community by running or walking in the Making Strides 5K."

Both the Transplant Expo and 5K Run/Walk are free of charge. For more information about the Expo, visit www.AstellasTransplant.com. For more information about the 5K Run/Walk or to register online, visit www.tracs.net/makingstridesatc.

For more information about organ donation or to join the state registry, visit www.Facebook.com/DonateLife.

About The Creative Coalition

The Creative Coalition (www.TheCreativeCoalition.org) is the leading 501c3, nonprofit, nonpartisan, public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating and mobilizing its members on issues of public importance. Headquartered in New York City, The Creative Coalition also has offices in Washington D.C., Los Angeles and San Francisco. The Creative Coalition does not endorse or raise funds for political parties or candidates.

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.

    Contacts:  Jenny Keeney
               Astellas US LLC
               (847) 317-5405

               Lauren McDonnell
               GolinHarris
               (312) 729-4233


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SOURCE Astellas Pharma US, Inc.
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