Donate Life Month
By: Jeremy DeighanApril 18, 2024

The Month of April Is Now Proclaimed Donate Life Month

Elkins W. Va., April 18, 2024: Mayor Jerry Marco has officially declared the month of April as Donate Life Month in the city of Elkins, West Virginia. This proclamation marks a significant step in raising awareness about the critical need for organ and tissue donors across the country and underscores the life-saving impact of donation and transplantation.

Recognizing the urgent need for organ and tissue donors nationwide, the observance of National Donate Life Month aims to promote a greater understanding of the profound benefits of donation and transplantation. With the need for donors on the rise, the City of Elkins is dedicated to encouraging community members to consider becoming donors.

In attendance was Phillips Kolsun, who had been diagnosed with a type of liver cancer in 2015, and stated, “In 2023, (there were) more than 170 million donor registrations, including 11.5 million in the National Donate Life Registry; more than 46,000 life-saving organ transplants were performed; 2.5 million life-saving and healing tissue transplants were performed; more than 78,000 corneal transplants helped to restore sight; $1.78 million were raised to support missions for Donate Life; and 500 million people were reached through innovative campaigns.”

The transplantation of organs and tissue stands as a remarkable achievement of modern medicine, made possible through the compassion of donors. Each year, thousands of lives are saved thanks to the generosity of donors, with one organ donor having the potential to save up to eight lives and one tissue donor capable of enhancing the lives of over 75 others.

Kolsun, who had lost his liver due to cancer treatment, was told in 2018 that he needed a liver transplant. Forty-three people registered to be Kolsun’s donor for a new liver and he was able to receive a portion of liver from his co-worker. Both have continued in good health ever since.

“This year, I invited the Welshonces,” said Kolsun, who was also in attendance, “because their son just had a kidney transplant.”

The Welshonce’s son, Mike, had a kidney transplant 6 months ago and their other son, Tom, has made two separate donations: one stem cell transplant and one bone marrow transplant.

“Transplantation touches everyone around you,” stated Kolsun. “It’s not just the people that it happens to directly. It indirectly affects everyone around you.”

The need for donors knows no boundaries, affecting people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and religions. Currently, there are over 100,000 Americans awaiting life-saving transplant operations, highlighting the urgent need for individuals to register as donors and make their wishes known to their families.

Mayor Jerry Marco emphasizes the importance of every capable person supporting this vital effort by registering as an organ and tissue donor. Citizens can register as a donor with the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

“I appreciate you all doing this,” continued Kolsun, “the City of Elkins, the City of Parsons, Tucker County, and Randolph County too; everyone is very supportive in the community, and I very much appreciate that.”

Elkins Department of Motor Vehicles
1029 North Randolph Avenue
Elkins, WV 26241
(304) 558-3900

Or visit:

Pictured from Left to Right: (Front Row) Mayor Jerry Marco, Phillips Kolsun; (Back Row) Jeff Welshonce, Debbie Welshonce, Bruce Kolsun



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