The Center for Organ Recovery & Education hosted the “Celebration of Praise” Gospel Fest at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture July 31.

CORE is the not-for-Profit agency that manages the organ and tissue donor program for western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Chemung County, N.Y., serving 155 hospitals in the region. CORE serves as a link between those who donate and patients awaiting organs, tissues and corneas for transplantation. Beginning this year, CORE announced their expansion of the Minority Organ Transplant Education Program, as the first new site selected by National MOTTEP since 1995.

ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS—Master of ceromonies Rev. Dr. Loran E. Mann, Pentecostal Temple COGIC, with Achievement Award winners. From left: Patrice Miles, executive director National MOTTEP; Susan Stuart, president and CEO, CORE; Lisa Strother Upshear, CORE MOTTEP program director.

For more than 18 years the program, founded by Dr. Clive O. Callender, Howard University, has been faithful in its efforts to save lives through organ, tissue, blood and marrow donation. Recently, national MOTTEP has made an impact on saving lives by focusing primarily on hypertension, diabetes, alcohol and substance abuse, proper nutrition and physical activity. Through the use of health information technology, (community kiosks) includes health videos, medical appointment reminders, and you can receive consultations with nurses online.

HAPPY TO BE ALIVE —Misty Enos, CORE associate director, Community Outreach, holds Sa’Maya Martin, four-year-old transplant recipient.

Before the evening’s performances, a private reception was held to acknowledge Pittsburgh CORE for becoming a member of the National MOTTEP. Speakers included Susan Stuart, president and CEO, Center for Organ Recovery and Education; Patrice Miles, executive director, National MOTTEP; Yvonne Moore, recipient, W.V. Multicultural Taskforce chairperson; and Lisa Upsher, CORE MOTTEP program director.

During the program donors and potential donors met with and greeted actual organ recipients. One special recipient, whom everyone adored, was four-year-old Sa’Maya Martin. Young Sa’Maya was diagnosed with Jejunal Atresia-Avoloulus, a malfunction of the small bowel, one month after birth. Through the help of The Center for Organ Recovery & Education, Sa’Maya, received a successful transplant nine months ago at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital and is now living a healthy life with her mother, Salaya Martin, in Youngstown, Ohio.

Hosting the “Celebration of Praise” gospel fest, was the respected former broadcast journalist and anchor for WPXI and founding pastor of Pentecostal Temple, Rev. Dr. Loran Mann. Guests were thoroughly entertained by Rev. Mann’s wit, charisma and amusing antidotal stories. A special presentation was given to CORE’s pediatric recipient, Sa’Maya Martin for her enthusiasm and healthy recovery from transplant surgery and the Nils Pfenning Scholarship Award to Aarin Fryson, a West Virginia State University nursing student winner. Pfenning is a 21-year-old male, who at the age of one and age 18, received transplants mainly due to the efforts of CORE’s organ donation programs.

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