Register to be an organ donor
because #everyonecangive.

There’s a strong chance you or a loved one
could need an organ someday, but the chances one
will be available is another story.

More than 7,500+ people in Pennsylvania and West Virginia are
waiting for an organ. Every day one of them dies.
What if it was you?

What actually happens if I say yes?

We love the Internet, but it sure makes it hard to separate fact from fiction.
Here’s what actually happens during the organ donation process.

1. You become a registered organ donor. Congrats!

When you check the box to be an organ donor, your name is added to the National Donate Life Registry. This means your family won’t have to make the decision if something happens to you.

2. Doctors exhaust all life-saving measures.

No matter what, EMTs and doctors will do everything possible to save your life – they are required to do this by their employers, by the law and by their own code of ethics.

3. We talk with your family.

As the organ procurement organization (OPO) serving western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, NY, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) is responsible for supporting a donor’s family and coordinating the process.

4. We find a match.

Assuming all is a go, CORE will work with UNOS (United Network for Organ Sharing) to find the best matches among the 114,000 people waiting across the country. Matching is based on factors like blood type, body size, length of time on waiting list and more.

5. The transplantation process begins.

Organs are recovered through a dignified procedure and prepared for transport. The medical professionals who cared for the donor are never involved in organ recovery – it’s the law.

Okay, but what if I heard something different?

But I heard that medical staff
won’t try as hard to save my life.

We’ve heard that the earth is flat, but we know it’s just not true. Medical staff are focused on saving your life, not someone else’s.

But I just don’t want to
think about it.

Imagine how your loved ones would feel if they had to make this decision without you. When you sign up, you take a major stressor away from your family because they’ll know your exact intentions.

But what if I’m not really dead, dead?

Brain death is a legal classification for complete and irreversible loss of brain function. A number of tests confirm this. Two doctors not involved in the recovery or transplantation process must declare a person brain dead before the donation process moves forward. No question -- there is no coming back from brain death.

But isn’t the system rigged?

The doctors caring for the donor have no influence on who gets an organ. The organ matching process is highly regulated through the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Matching is controlled by an algorithm that factors in blood type, body size, length of time on waiting list and more.

But I want to have
a regular funeral.

Unless you planned on being buried in the buff, you’ll be A-OK for an open casket funeral. For what it’s worth, most donor families cherish the legacy created by the organ donors they loved.

But I’m not the picture of health
(and I love the taste of beer).

Anyone can donate organs, not just people who were in perfect health. Also, don’t be so hard on yourself, you look great.

But my question’s not in this list.

Just email us at and we’ll have a real human get back to you.

Okay where do I sign up?





Register to be an organ donor because #EveryoneCanGive.

You don’t have to wait until you renew your license.
You can add your name to the National Donate Life Registry with the form below, or at DMV.PA.GOV.

*This registration is a binding, legal document of gift. You affirm the information provided is accurate. You agree upon death to donate all eligible organs and tissue for transplant.

You can update or remove your registration or specify more detailed donation preferences at any time in the The National Donate Life Registry at

The National Donate Life Registry is managed by Donate Life America.
Donate Life

View our privacy policy.


You can donate
more than organs.

Every dollar helps us save or improve lives.