Fairmont restaurant raises awareness about organ donation on Blue and Green Day

Sarah Marino |, Times West Virginian, Fairmont
·2 min read

Apr. 17—FAIRMONT — A local restaurant joined in with a national nonprofit Friday to raise awareness about organ donation.

April is set aside as National Donate a Life Month by the Center for Organ Recovery and Education and Friday was CORE's Blue and Green Day, which was celebrated at Noteworthy Sweets in Fairmont. The effort aims to try and get people to start a conversation about organ donation.

According to CORE, 112,000 people in the U.S. are currently awaiting an organ transplant. Every 10 minutes someone new is added to the organ transplant waiting list and 20 people die each day without receiving a transplant. One person who is an organ donor can save eight lives.

Gwen Hoffmaster, owner of Noteworthy Sweets, said someone called her from Donate Life West Virginia and asked if she would be interested in supporting the effort. Hoffmaster said she believed it was a worthy cause.

"We were supposed to do something with green and blue so we did chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with green and blue icing," said Hoffmaster.

She said she will do outreach in the community if she thinks the cause is something that's important. She said in preparation she takes a little extra time to make the display presentable.

"I like to do things like this for worthy organizations to help people. I mean that's just what we like to do," said Hoffmaster.

The process of organ donation starts when a person is evaluated after all live-saving measures have been attempted. Those working to save someone's life and those who are on the transplant team are completely separate and a patient is not evaluated until imminent or actual death has been established.

Organ, tissue and cornea donation mostly results from individuals sustaining an injury that causes brain death. This means the brain has stopped working and will not work again. Common causes of brain death are vehicle accidents, head injuries or strokes. On average 11,000 people will die that are considered medically suitable to donate organs, tissue and corneas, yet only a fraction of them will donate.

In West Virginia, there are two ways residents can become an organ donor. Drivers can sign up to be an organ donor when getting their driver's license or state ID card or by going online and registering at www.core.org/register.

Reach Sarah Marino at 304-367-2549