Astellas and Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network Join Forces to Raise
Awareness of Need for More Organ Donors in Illinois
NORTHBROOK, Ill., April 19, 2013
NORTHBROOK, Ill., April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Astellas Pharma US, Inc.
("Astellas"), a U.S. subsidiary of Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma Inc. (Tokyo:
4503), and Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network, a not-for-profit organ
procurement organization that coordinates organ and tissue donation and
provides public education on donation in Illinois and northwest Indiana, have
collaborated to raise awareness of the need for more organ donors in the state
of Illinois. As part of the efforts, Governor Pat Quinn signed a proclamation
declaring today, April 19, Organ Donation Awareness Day in the state of
Illinois. Astellas and Gift of Hope are encouraging Illinois residents to
learn more about organ donation, and register their decision to donate.
"We're proud to partner with Astellas in building a community of support
around organ donation awareness and the need for more donors," said David
Bosch, Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs at Gift of Hope.
"The decision to be an organ donor gives hope to many people awaiting a second
While organ transplantation is a remarkable story in the history of medicine,
the need for organs is vastly greater than the number available for
transplantation. Currently there are more than 117,000 people in the U.S.
awaiting an organ transplant – including more than 5,000 people in Illinois.^1
Each year, more than 28,000 Americans receive a donated organ^2, but sadly,
more than 6,500 people die each year waiting for an organ.^1
Today's proclamation underscores Astellas' ongoing commitment to the state of
Illinois, as well as the national transplantation and organ donation
"Astellas has been committed to the transplant community for more than 20
years and is dedicated to raising awareness of the need for organ donation,"
said James Robinson, President, Astellas Pharma US, Inc. "We're excited to
work with Gift of Hope to raise awareness about organ donation in Illinois.
Through initiatives like today's proclamation, we're educating the public on
the important role donors play in giving others a second chance at life."
Becoming an organ donor is a simple process that can be completed in a matter
of minutes online or through the Illinois Department of Motor Vehicles. For
more information on organ donation or to register as a donor, visit
About Gift of Hope
Celebrating 25 years of saving and enhancing lives in 2012, Gift of Hope Organ
& Tissue Donor Network is a not-for-profit organ procurement organization
entrusted by the nation's healthcare system with coordinating organ and tissue
donation and providing donor family services and public education in Illinois
and northwest Indiana. Since 1987, it has coordinated donations that have
saved the lives of nearly 20,000 organ transplant recipients and improved the
lives of hundreds of thousands of tissue transplant recipients. As one of 58
organ procurement organizations that make up the nation's organ and tissue
donation system, Gift of Hope works with 180 donor hospitals and serves 12
million residents in its donation service area.
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 Northbrook, 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. For more information
about Astellas Pharma US, Inc., please visit our website at www.Astellas.us.
^1 Donate Life Illinois. Stats & Facts.
http://www.donatelifeillinois.org/donatelife/get_the_facts.htm. Accessed April
^2 United Network for Organ Sharing. What every patient needs to know.
http://www.unos.org/docs/WEPNTK.pdf. Accessed April 16, 2013.
SOURCE Astellas Pharma US, Inc.
Contact: Jenny M. Kite, Astellas, cell, +1-847-682-4530,
Jenny.Kite@Astellas.com, Anne Maselli, Edelman, office, +1-312-297-6979, cell,
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