13th annual Gift of Life Campus Challenge gives college rivalries life-saving purpose

Gift of Life Michigan logo

ANN ARBOR, MI— Twelve colleges and universities are preparing for a life or death competition. However, they most likely will never know the people whose lives they are saving.

The schools are participating in the Gift of Life Michigan Campus Challenge, an organ and tissue donor drive competition. Each campus will sign up people to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry from January 20 to February 24, 2016. Students, professors, alumni and local community members can sign up on the Donor Registry in honor of their favorite school, scoring a point for that school and giving hope to those needing life-saving organ or life-healing tissue transplants.

Participating colleges will encourage students, alumni and other supporters to sign up on the Donor Registry through social media, poster displays and at tables in student unions and athletic events. Scores are shown in real time on Gift of Life Michigan’s website. At the end of the five-week competition, a trophy is awarded to the school with the most donor registrations and one to the school with the most registrations compared with student population. Last year’s winners of the Campus Challenge trophies were Wayne State University in Detroit and Siena Heights University in Adrian.

“Michigan college students have demonstrated amazing compassion and support for organ, tissue and eye donation,” said Richard Pietroski, chief executive officer of Gift of Life Michigan. “With the high levels of energy and enthusiasm these young people bring to our life-saving cause, we know the Campus Challenge will be a success again this year.”

“Signing up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry is an easy, quick way to give hope to the 3,500 residents of our state waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, and tens of thousands more who need cornea and tissue transplants to improve the quality of their lives,” Pietroski added. To sign up and credit your favorite school, visit GiftOfLifeMichigan.org/CampusChallenge, and select the school’s name from the drop-down menu provided.

The Gift of Life Campus Challenge is one of the most successful organ donation college outreach programs in the nation, and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for its exceptional results. Since its inception in 2004, the Gift of Life Campus Challenge has inspired more than 36,000 people to join the state’s Donor Registry.

Gift of Life Michigan is the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization, which acts as intermediary between donors, their families and hospital staff. Gift of Life Michigan, in collaboration with Eversight Michigan, provides all services necessary for organ, tissue and eye donation.

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A full list of participating colleges and universities, and their current scores in the Campus Challenge, is available at giftoflifemichigan.org/campuschallenge

Student leaders on each campus are available for interviews. Please contact Jennifer Tislerics at Gift of Life Michigan, jtislerics@giftoflifemichigan.org or 734-922-1048.

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