BODY WORLDS Inspires Salt Lake City Resident to Donate Body


Visitors to Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS 3 &The Story of the Heart are presented with real human specimens that offer an unparalleled view inside the human body and the complex anatomical systems functioning beneath our skin. This opportunity would not be possible without the generosity of individuals, who declared that upon their death, their bodies could be used in the exhibition for educational purposes.

Salt Lake City resident, Vanessa Bello, 27, is one of the first three donors in Utah. Her interest in human anatomy extends beyond BODY WORLDS, having worked in the medical field for eight years. Ever since Bello first saw the exhibition in 2006, in Denver, she knew that she wanted to donate.

“Once I began to think about my own mortality, I decided that I wanted my body to be used in a more productive way,” said Bello. “By becoming a donor, I hope to educate the public about how the human body works and encourage people to take care of themselves. I want people to be able to learn from me, just as I have learned from the plastinates in BODY WORLDS.”

Bello, a registered paramedic and autopsy technician, says that the exhibition has motivated her to get a master’s degree in pathology, studying the nature, progression and diagnosis of disease.

"BODY WORLDS 3 is a collaboration, a joint quest towards enlightenment between donor, anatomist, and visitor,” said exhibit creator, Dr. von Hagens.

Excluding a small number of specimens acquired from pathology collections and anatomical programs, the plastinated specimens on display in Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS exhibitions stem from a unique Body Donation Program established in Heidelberg, Germany in 1982, and later managed by the Institute for Plastination (IfP) in 1993. As of November 2008, the Institute for Plastination’s donor roster includes over 9,600 individuals worldwide who have declared their intent to donate their bodies, including 841 Americans.

BODY WORLDS 3 & The Story of the Heart features over 200 authentic human specimens that offer profound insights into the human body, health and disease. The exhibition will be on display until January 11, 2008  at The Leonardo, an educational and cultural center in downtown Salt Lake City. BODY WORLDS 3  at The Leonardo is presented by University Health Care, with major support from Zions Bank, Merit Medical, KSL and Media One.

To learn more about the exhibit, buy tickets, download learning guides, see images, or get directions, visit www.theleonardo.org, or call 1-888-695-0888.