By: Erica Lampert ~Staff Writer~
Becoming an organ donor is a unique opportunity to help others who are waiting for life-saving and life-enhancing transplants. A single donor can potentially save the lives of eight people through organ donation and enhance the lives of up to 50 more through tissue donation.
Last year, community relations and media associates Katie Dillion and Jeannie Kuhn held a Donation for Life competition during the annual Crosstown Shootout to help raise awareness about life saving organ donation.
“The truth is, many of us are connected to someone whose life has been changed through donation or transplant and we just don’t know it,” Dillion said. “Whether it’s a family member, or friend who donated organ and tissue, or it’s someone who received a transplant, or one of the 700-plus people in Greater Cincinnati alone, who are waiting on transplant, this is an important issue that can save many lives.”
Last year, the University of Cincinnati won the first Donation for Life competition. Xavier students, faculty and staff can raise the stakes and compete this year by registering as an organ donor.
“We had a lot of great participation from students, fans and alumni, but this year, we want to do even more,” Dillion said. The LifeCenter Organ Donor Network will hold several different events at Xavier leading up to the Shootout. They also plan to be at select basketball games for any student who wants to resister as an organ donor. Anyone who signs up will also receive a free T-shirt from the LifeCenter. The winner of the Donation for Life competition will be announced on Dec. 12 during the Crosstown Shootout.
“We’re seeing more and more that this generation of students are becoming active and engaging with the causes that are meaningful to them personally,” Dillion said. “We’re hoping that through this challenge we are able to spur more people to have that conversation with family and friends and even inspire them to register as a donor.”
There will also be many volunteer opportunities for students during this campaign. Anyone who wants to volunteer can contact Jeannie Kuhn at jkuhn@lifepassiton. org for more information.
The national waiting list for organ transplant continues to grow. Today, there are more than 123,000 waiting for a life-saving transplant. Approximately 21 times each day someone dies while waiting for an organ transplant.
In Ohio, more than 3,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant, and hundreds more await tissue transplants. More than 900 people are waiting for an organ transplant in Kentucky. In Indiana, more than 1,400 people are waiting for an organ transplant. More than 700 individuals are waiting for a life-saving transplant in the Greater Cincinnati area alone. LifeCenter wants to change that by inspiring students everywhere to consider being an organ donor through this competition.
In 2013, more than 28,900 men, women and children received a life-saving organ transplant thanks to the generosity of a donor, and in 2012, LifeCenter was directly responsible for 144 organs being transplanted, along with tissue donations from 379 donors.
For more information, students can visit LifeCenter’s website at http://lifepassiton.org/, or cast their votes at http://challenge. lifepassiton.org/. Students are can also to follow LifeCenter on Twitter and like them on Facebook.