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Organ donation efforts critical amid challenging times

While the COVID-19 pandemic has made some aspects of volunteerism and donation more challenging, there are still many ways to contribute to your community and beyond.

One wonderful example can be found with the Northern Michigan University School of Nursing, which is spreading the word about how students and area residents can become registered organ donors through the Gift of Life Campus Challenge.

The challenge is to see which college campus in Michigan can register the most organ donors by Feb. 18.

Michelle Andriacchi, NMU assistant professor of nursing, called the annual event “kind of a friendly competition” in a Wednesday Journal article by Christie Mastric.

Andriacchi told the Journal the competition judges participants in several ways: on the highest number of registered donors and a percentage of the population that donates, the latter benefiting a smaller school such as NMU.

“This is the first time Northern’s participating in it, so it’s really exciting,” Andriacchi said.

She said NMU is performing well in the competition, having registered close to 30 people as of last week.

The nurses have set up tables and put up posters throughout the campus to reach out to people, plus they’re engaging in a social media push, Andriacchi said. They also plan to have information sessions about organ donation to help educate the community.

One NMU student nurse acknowledged the good timing of the Gift of Life Campus Challenge.

“We wanted to bring something positive to our community during these challenging times, and what better way to care for others than spreading awareness about organ donation registration?” Alyssa Milski, NMU’s Student Nurses Association president, said in an email.

This is a commendable and much-needed effort, as data from Gift of Life Michigan shows that a person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes, and 22 patients die each day because not enough organs are available.

“It possibly can save up to eight people per organ donor plus up to 70 people tissue-wise,” Andriacchi said.

Due to this, we encourage our readers to consider being a registered organ donor, as filling out the simple form to become a donor can end up making a difference in the lives of countless people.

Andriacchi said anyone — not just the NMU community — can register in the GOL event.

Go online to golm.org/go/nmu to learn more or to register. You could save countless lives by taking a few moments to register.

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