On Saturday, UPMC will dedicate the Giving Life Wall, a photomontage on permanent display at UPMC Presbyterian hospital that honors those who gave the gift of life through organ donation.
The wall is a collaborative effort between the hospital system and the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE).
According to Eileen Roach, a nurse for 17 years and the 2011 Donate Life Award recipient, the idea for the wall came about three or four years ago when a committee at UPMC met and thought, "Wouldn't it be nice to pay tribute to all of the donors that walk through our doors and selflessly give their loved ones' organs to others?"
They also decided that it should be a visual tribute and be displayed on the indoor bridge that links the donor hospital to the transplant hospital, and that it be called the Giving Life Wall.
"(We) thought, 'What is it really that all of these donors, whether they were living or whether they were deceased donors, what did they do?'" said Roach. "Very simple: they gave life, they gave life to another human being."
Roach says this has been a really long time coming. "It is very emotional for a lot of us that work in the donor world. So I think these people that donate are a very special group, and they should be recognized."