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Green and White
Celebrates Life Atop
Empire State Building

When most New Yorkers look at the Empire State Building lit up in vibrant green and white this April, they'll admire the display for its splendor. To Karen Kennedy, the colors honor the memory of her mom and carry an important message to her fellow New Yorkers. For the first time, the building will be lit with these colors to represent National Donate Life Month, a time for all Americans to consider organ donation-the gift of life.

Eleven years ago, Karen gave a kidney to her mother, Verna, who had been diagnosed with kidney disease and was receiving thrice-weekly dialysis treatments. Verna initially resisted Karen's offer to donate her kidney, but after much persistence, Verna relented and allowed Karen to give her the greatest gift a daughter could give a parent. The transplant was performed in 1993, and right away Verna's quality of life improved dramatically. "It was my mother's dream to have grandchildren," Karen says. "Thanks to the transplant, my mother was able to see her grandchildren born and watch them grow before her eyes."

More than 8,000 New Yorkers are waiting for life-saving organ transplants of every type.

Verna passed away in 2002, but Karen says she was grateful for the time she had with her mother, and the years spent with her family after the transplant provided much joy in her mother's life.
Karen wanted to make others aware of the tremendous impact organ donation can make to someone's quality of life. "A few years ago, I had told my mother about the idea to have the Empire State Building lit for Donate Life Month," she says. "When she passed away last year, it became more important to me since it would be a way to honor her memory." The Empire State Building will be lit in green and white from April 19-21.

The Empire State Building will be lit in green and white from April 19-21.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 83,000 Americans are currently awaiting a life-saving organ and 17 people die each day while waiting. More than 8,000 New Yorkers are waiting for life-saving organ transplants of every type. National Donate Life Month is the perfect time to sign an organ donor card and discuss your wishes with your family. 

For more information or a free organ donor card, contact the National Kidney Foundation of Greater New York at (800) 622-9010, or visit
their website at http://www.nkfofgreaterny.org.

The National Kidney Foundation is dedicated to the prevention of kidney and urinary tract disease, improving the health and well-being of patients and families affected by these diseases and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation.

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