Gates Orlando and other Amerks Alumni will be on hand to raise awareness for organ donation
The Rochester Americans will host Donate Life Night on Friday, April 12, when the Amerks host the Oklahoma City Barons at 7:05 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena. The Amerks are partnering with the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network (FLDRN) and the Amerks Alumni Association, including Hall of Famer Gates Orlando, the region’s first person to receive a total artificial heart and then a heart transplant, to raise awareness for organ donation.
April is Donate Life Month, and the Amerks game will provide an opportunity for FLDRN staff and former Amerks players to encourage people to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry at www.donorrecovery.org to become an organ donor and help save lives.
Orlando, who helped lead the Amerks to a Calder Cup in 1987, was the first person to receive a total artificial heart, a high-tech pump, which kept him alive until he received a heart transplant on Feb. 5 at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
“Mr. Orlando is an inspiration to so many people. His story demonstrates the power of organ donation and the importance of joining the registry to help others,” said Rob Kochik, FLDRN executive director. “We know he speaks on behalf of all transplant recipients each and every time he says ‘Thank You’ to his donor and their family who gave him the Gift of Life.”
Several members of the Amerks Alumni Association, including Paul Brydges, Jody Gage, Scott Metcalfe, Jim Pettie, Kenton Rein, Geordie Robertson and Jim Weimer will be on-hand throughout the evening to speak with fans about the importance of organ donation and encourage fans to become organ donors.
FLDRN coordinates organ donation in 20 counties with a population of 2.4 million and serves two transplant centers and 38 hospitals in the Finger Lakes Region, Central and Northern New York. Locally, more than 750 patients are currently waiting for a kidney, heart, liver or pancreas transplant. Hundreds of others will be helped this year by tissue transplants such as cornea, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves.
For more information or to purchase tickets to an Amerks game, visit www.amerks.com or call 1-855-GO-AMERKS.