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2023 Community IMPACT Report


Impact report numbers 2024
408 research tissues and 481 local corneas
18 lungs transplanted, total of 6,898 families approached

3%

increase in tissue donors

across our service areas.


10%

increase in the number of

families we approached

for organ, eye, and tissue

donation opportunities.



national donor day cards

National Donor Day in February


It's no coincidence that National Donor Day and Valentine's Day are both celebrated on February 14. In 2023, ConnectLife created Valentines to encourage sharing your wishes and start a conversation about organ, eye, and tissue donation with your close friends and family. It’s the perfect time to have a heart to heart with your loved ones.


lotus flower

National Donate Life Month in April


Every April, ConnectLife celebrates National Donate Life Month. The 2023 theme was, “Because of muddy waters, I bloom.” Like the lotus flower, the story of donation and transplantation is of strength and beauty. The generosity of a single organ, eye, and tissue donor can save the lives of eight people, restore sight to two people, and heal more than 75 people.


Ekaterina "Kate" Kolosova, organ eye and tissue donor

“Ekaterina ‘Katie’ Kolosova was a kind and sweet person. She loved her family, boyfriend, two cats, and dog more than anything else in this world. Katie sadly passed away on February 10, 2023. She was only 36 years old. She was a giver, and even in death she gave everything to save people's lives she will never meet. Ekaterina saved five lives through organ donation. She donated her heart, lungs, liver, and both kidneys.”

– Katie’s boyfriend, Dmitriy


Milo Harvey Jr. eye donor



“Milo Harvey Jr. was my oldest brother. Our family is really close, and he loved his family. He showed us that you can accomplish anything in life. He was constantly helping people, including the older people he always kept in touch with. Our family is so proud of Milo for giving the gift of sight through eye donation. He will forever be missed by me and all of our family.” - Milo's sister, NeeNee


Platelet Promise in May


ConnectLife ran its first ever “Platelet Promise” campaign in May of 2023 to educate potential platelet donors, find new ones, and offered some extra recognition to the ones already giving of themselves so generously. It was the single largest month for presenting platelet donors since starting platelet donation in 2009.


Mia and Frank Broderick

“My husband was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia three years ago. He needed transfusions almost daily. In the middle of treatments there were no platelets available. I put out a call to my family and they responded like an army, donating for him and every cancer patient who would benefit from their donation at that time. That was my driving force to donate in honor of my husband, Frank. We lost him on Christmas day in 2019. Me and my family have been donating in his memory ever since.”

- Mia Broderick, ConnectLife Platelet Donor

Blood donors standing outside of ConnectLife bus




Individual Risk Assessment in May


ConnectLife was the FIRST blood center in the United States to go live with the FDA’s new Individual Risk Assessment guidelines, eliminating barriers for blood donation within the LGBTQIA+ community while preserving the safety of blood as an essential product for patient care.



Pride event in Buffalo

Pride Saves Lives in June


On Sunday, June 4, 2023, a group of ConnectLife staff, friends, and family represented our organization and mission at the Buffalo Pride Parade. Spreading the word that no matter who you are or who you love, you have the power to save lives through organ and blood donation.


Speaking engagement

Community Education in 2023


ConnectLife participated in over 150 community outreach and speaking opportunities across the eight counties of WNY.



Danny Gare & Friends Golf Tournament in July


The 8th Annual Danny Gare & Friends Golf Tournament for ConnectLife was held on Friday, July 21, 2023. It was a huge success as our golfers turned out for a fun day of golf with great weather on a beautiful course. As one of ConnectLife’s largest events, all $40,000 worth of proceeds went to fulfill our mission to educate the community, inspire donation, and connect lives.


Event photos from Danny Gare & Friends Golf Tournament
ConnectLife volunteers with Dion Dawkins

Volunteer Kristine and her daughter Kayla helped represent ConnectLife at the CommUNITY event this past July where they got to meet Dion Dawkins.


“In the past, I have donated blood and ConnectLife would send me a message when it was being delivered to a local hospital. I am hoping that one of those times my donated blood helped save a life. I decided to volunteer to encourage people to do the same and to help answer questions they have and ease some fears. My daughter volunteers with me as well and donated blood for the first time last year.” - Kristine Arcadi, ConnectLife Volunteer



Babies and Bumps event


Babies and Bumps Event in August


Rachele Anello, ConnectLife’s Birth Tissue Coordinator, attended the Babies and Bumps event. She educated the community about the benefits of birth tissue donation and how donating can enhance or save up to 100 lives.


ConnectLife Club speaking engagements

ConnectLife Club Kicked-Off in September


Over 75 high schools participated in the ConnectLife Club, a yearlong education program that starts at the beginning of every school year in which students learn about donation, transplantation, and organize blood drives.



First NRP Case in October


Normothermic Regional Perfusion (NRP) is a brand-new technology for organ donation that allows for additional organs to be utilized with better outcomes and more lives saved. Utilizing this method of organ recovery allows the heart and lungs to rest for a period and can promote healing of organs prior to transplant. The hearts that are being transplanted utilizing NRP have shown positive results, adding a significant number of hearts available for those who are in desperate need of transplant. An additional finding is the improved liver function of donated livers following the use of NRP, which also increases the number of livers available for transplant.


ConnectLife bus

Annual Appeal in December


Without our blood donation buses, we would not be able to supply over 75% of the blood needed at our local hospitals. Since 2022, ConnectLife has held almost 600 mobile bus blood drives, collecting over 9,200 units of blood. With the help of our community, we were able to raise $9,000 toward a new blood bus.


Volunteer appreciation lunch

Volunteer Appreciation Lunch in December


The 2023 volunteer program assisted with both community and in-school education. Our volunteers reached a wide and diverse base of individuals through tabling at blood drives, community events, farmer’s markets, sporting events, and sharing their personal connection to donation. ConnectLife shared our appreciation by providing lunch as a thank you for all that they do. We are grateful for all our volunteers giving their time and energy to help carry out our mission.


 

Visit ConnectLife.org to make an IMPACT today!


1 organ, eye, and tissue donor can save or enhance the lives of up to 75 people.


1 blood donor can save up to 3 local patients at Western New York hospitals.


Through birth tissue donation, 1 birth tissue donor has the potential to heal up to 100 lives.



1 person can play a vital role in supporting ConnectLife’s mission.



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