Astellas, Donate Life America and World Transplant Games Federation Celebrate Achievements for Global Transplant Community at History-making Rugby Match
TOKYO and CHICAGO, Ill. – Nov. 9 2016 – Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, collectively with its subsidiaries “Astellas”), Donate Life America and the World Transplant Games Federation today announced that Astellas and Donate Life America registered thousands of new organ donors and tripled the previous GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for online organ donor registrations in an eight-hour period. Also at the match, a record crowd for a rugby match held in America joined as Astellas provided a $175,000 USD contribution to the World Transplant Games Federation during a halftime celebration featuring transplant recipients from around the world.
“We are very pleased with the response and want to sincerely thank everyone who showed their commitment to this cause by registering to become an organ donor,” said Yoshihiko Hatanaka, president and CEO, Astellas Pharma Inc. “This achievement reflects our more than 20-year commitment to the transplant community and continued collaboration with partner organizations to address unmet medical needs.”
“Someone is added to the organ donor waitlist every 10 minutes in the United States. These people are desperately seeking an organ donation – a gift of life – and for them to receive that gift, we need organ donors, said David Fleming, president and CEO, Donate Life America.
“We created Fit for Life! to inspire transplant recipients globally to lead an active life and to treasure their most precious gift. It also demonstrates to the world the power of donation and transplantation,” said Chris Thomas, president, World Transplant Games Federation. “And just as importantly, it allows the global transplantation community to say thank you to the people who made it possible – the organ donors and their families.”
Support for increasing organ donor registration and the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ attempt spread quickly via social media thanks to engagement from top athletes, rugby teams and celebrities around the world. Potential organ donors living in the United States were able to visit RugbyRecord.org or use their Apple iPhone to easily access Donate Life America’s national registry. Around the world, supporters raised additional awareness of the campaign via social media by sharing the hashtag #organdonor via Twitter. Each share led to a $5 USD contribution from Astellas to the World Transplant Games Federation, totaling $175,000.
Earlier this year, the World Transplant Games Federation launched Fit for Life!, an initiative supported by Astellas and designed to help transplant patients live full and active lives through ongoing physical activity and participation in organized sports. Astellas also collaborated with Donate Life America to break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for online organ donor registrations.