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First Lady of Virginia celebrates National Donate Life Blue and Green Day with VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center

The annual awareness day encourages community members to learn about the need for organ donors and to celebrate those who have provided a lifesaving gift.

Large group of people standing together smiling, image taking from a second floor with the group below. The First Lady of Virginia celebrates National Donate Life Blue & Green Day with VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center team members. (VCU Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

By Caroline Ward

April is National Donate Life Month, an annual awareness month that aims to inspire people to register as organ donors and to celebrate the lives of those who have provided the gift of an organ donation. In recognition of National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, one of the month’s many dedicated events, the VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center hosted a celebration in the VCU McGlothlin Medical Education Center lobby on Friday, April 14.

On this day, all are encouraged to wear blue and green and work with local partners to educate the community about the Donate Life cause.


Group of Hume-Lee doctors and surgeons standing next to the First Lady of Virginia in 2023

The First Lady of Virginia meets with VCU Health Hume-Lee team members. From left to right: David Bruno, M.D., Amit Sharma, M.D., Adrian Cotterell, M.D., the First Lady of Virginia, Suzanne S. Youngkin, Seung Duk Lee, M.D., and Vinay Kumaran, M.D. (VCU Enterprise Marketing and Communications)


Among the sea of blue and green were some familiar faces, including Hume-Lee’s interim chair, David Bruno, M.D., many of the transplant center’s team members and VCU Dogs on Call therapy dog program.  

“I thought about how the best golfer wears green in the Masters [Tournament], but in the instance of Hume-Lee, we wear green because we’re masters in taking care of our transplant patients,” said Michael Roussos, president of VCU Medical Center.

Register to become an organ donor.

These colors are prominently displayed throughout National Donate Life Month by Donate Life America. They symbolize the sky, earth and circle of life, as organ donations are a selfless gift. This imagery was noted by the First Lady of Virginia, Suzanne S. Youngkin, who was also in attendance.

“I am honored and humbled to attend this important day,” she said. “All of us are called to care for one another and are interconnected as part of the science of our galaxy and the globe that we inhabit.”

During her visit, First Lady Youngkin also received a tour of the clinic where the majority of Hume-Lee's patients are seen before, during and after their organ transplant journey.

According to Donate Life America, more than 100,000 people are awaiting organ transplants in the United States, including about 3,000 Virginians. By registering to be a deceased donor, a person can save up to eight lives by way of organ donation.

“It’s not a coincidence to me that when you sign-up to be an organ donor you get a heart added to your driver’s license,” Bruno said. “That donation really is a symbol of love.”