When Lena DeVietro lost her mother five years ago, one of the things that gave her solace was knowing that, in death, her mother changed the lives of five different people.
"They had asked me to see if they wanted to donate her organs and I said yes, because I didn't want anyone to feel how I felt at that moment, so if I could save someone else's family member, then I would," said DeVietro.
The 21-year-old Towson resident recently helped make a statement for organ donation—a fashion statement.
She's working with the nonprofit Donate Life Maryland to raise awareness for organ donation. On Friday, she helped dress two mannequins at White Marsh Mall in green and blue, the colors of the organization's Donate Life Month.
The mannequins are stationed on the mall's second floor, outside Macy's.
DeVietro, a Connecticut native, is a junior at , where she majors in chemistry and recently started an on-campus chapter of Students for Organ Donation.
"There is an overwhelming, potentially epidemic need for transplantable organs in the United States," said Natalie Benavides, executive director of Donate Life Maryland. Of the 116,000 people on transplant waiting lists nationwide, 2,000 are in Maryland.
Benavides said it's easy to sign up as an organ donor. Either opt to register when renewing your driver's license or sign up on the organization's website.