Student groups adapted in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic
Thanks to the efforts of college students across Michigan, 164 new names were added to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
During the annual five-week Gift of Life Michigan Campus Challenge, students from Michigan colleges encouraged their peers to register on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. This brings hope for the more than 2,500 people waiting for a life-saving organ in the state.
Gift of Life partners with college student groups every year in a friendly competition. Students are tasked with educating their peers about organ, eye and tissue donation, as well as, registering them on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. This year 13 colleges participated.
“We had some challenges due to COVID-19,” said Taneisha Campbell, a community relations coordinator at Gift of Life Michigan MOTTEP who coordinates the event. “Many campuses were closed or partially closed due to the pandemic. Even so, these young adults stepped up. They came up with some creative ways to talk about organ and tissue donation.”
The students hosted Netflix parties and discussed movies that featured organ donation, Tik Tok competitions, virtual speaking events, lunch and learns, webinars and more. They were also temporarily granted control over the Gift of Life Michigan Instagram feed to reach out to their peers and encourage them to sign up on the Organ Donor Registry.
Students at Wayne State University registered the most donors, with 71. Over the past decade, Wayne State University has continuously added the most new names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. Northern Michigan University added 55 to the registry and Siena Heights University, 11. The Western Michigan University Homer Stryker School of Medicine earned the top percentage of student body registered. The seven new registrations represent about 2 percent of the total student body.
“We are pleased to have the support of young people on this issue, despite the difficult year we’ve all endured,” said Dorrie Dils, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all of us in some way, but our important, life-saving work continues,” she added. “Each new name on the Organ Donor Registry offers new hope for the thousands of patients waiting for a new organ that can save or greatly improve their quality of life. We truly appreciate everyone who took part in the challenge and everyone who signed up.”
A single donor can save up to eight lives and help heal as many as 75 more through donated corneas and tissue. There are about 110,000 people waiting for a life-saving transplant across the U.S.
A full list of participating colleges and universities and their final scores in the Campus Challenge is available here.
If you are not already a registered organ, eye or tissue donor, you can sign up here.