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Diana Zippay from ‘Mommy Needs a Kidney’ Facebook Video Reunites with Organ Donor for Rose Garden Ceremony at Allegheny General Hospital

Friday, April 20, 2018

West Penn Hospital Will Close Out the Week with Balloon Release and Rose Garden Ceremony to Honor Organ Donors Who Have Given the Gift of Life

Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) and West Penn Hospital will host their annual rose garden ceremony events next week as part of Allegheny Health Network’s ongoing efforts to recognize National Donate Life Month. AGH will hold its ceremony at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 23 with West Penn scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 26.


  • April 23, 1 p.m. at AGH – Rose Garden Ceremony: 
    Diana Zippay, kidney transplant recipient who became a viral sensation after her children made a plea for their mom through a Facebook video, will reunite with the living donor, Melissa Deighan who made Diana’s transplant possible. After watching the Facebook video, Melissa was moved to become Diana’s pair exchange donor. Their inspirational story will be followed by testimonials from an organ donor family and two individuals on the transplant waiting list.

    The closing song will be performed from Carlton Leeper, the professional singer who survived a bullet wound to the face but is back to doing what he loves after reconstructive surgery and speech therapy at AHN. The ceremony will conclude with the dedication of a rose bush to remember those who gave the gift of life through organ donation.

  • April 26, 11:30 a.m. – Rose Garden Ceremony & Balloon Release:
    West Penn hospital leadership will join the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE) officials, local community members and hospital employees to take part in the official planting of the rose bush to remember those who have given the gift of life. Following the ceremonial shovel into the soil, the group will release colorful balloons into the sky. The balloons represent the event’s underlying tie into Maya Angelo’s notable quote, “try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud,” which represent the powerful impact an organ donor can have on someone’s life.


  • Allegheny General Hospital
    320 East North Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15212
    Ceremony will take place in the McGovern Exhibit Area
  • West Penn Hospital
    4800 Friendship Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224
    Remarks will be outside the Millvale Entrance
    Balloon release and rose garden ceremony will take place outside the AHN School of Nursing

More than 115,000 people are awaiting organ transplants in the U.S., including more than 7,500 people in Pennsylvania. National Donate Life Month, celebrated every April, encourages more Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and recognizes those who have saved lives through donation.