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Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Second-hand organs save many lives

“Don’t take your organs to heaven. Heaven knows we need them here,” said Clark, a kidney recipient who prefers to keep his first name private.

Many transplant recipients, like Clark, try to raise awareness in the community of the lives transplants could save. The University also has an organization called Students for Organ Donations, which empowers students to make a difference in the growing international public health crisis – a shortage of vital organs and tissues – and to promote donation registration.

With every registration the donor has the potential to save up to eight lives, and improve up to 50.

Studies show that there is a remarkable gap between the number of Americans that support donation and the number that actually donate, according to the Students for Organ Donations Web site.

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles for Wood County reported 69 percent of registered drivers are listed organ donors. In the state of Ohio, 83 percent of registered drivers are organ donors.

For registered donor and member of Students for Organ Donations Megan Greenwald, sophomore, the decision is very simple.

“It’s not even a choice for me not to be a donor,” she said.

This group, along with hundreds of other students on 35 college campuses across the country, is taking action to reduce the gap in organs available and the 89,360 people in the U.S. waiting for organs as of Sept. 14, 2005.

By recruiting new donors on college campuses hopefully the pool of potential donors will increase which will reduce the gap in the future.

In Ohio, BGSU and Wright State University are the only universities to host this organization that empowers students to become donors.

Dr. Lee Meserve, Students for Organ Donations advisor, believes that by raising awareness and dispelling myths about organ transplants, more people will understand the importance.

“It doesn’t make sense to bury and waste a perfectly good liver when somebody else needs it,” said Meserve.

Jill Laisure, junior, really did need a transplant for her mothers survival. She decided to join the organization because she understood just how important this subject was.

“I can understand what people are going through who have family and friends waiting for a long time for a transplant,” she said. “By increasing our membership hopefully we will get the word out. A lot of people don’t even think about it.”

One person that has thought about how important transplants are is Clark. On Oct. 29, 1972, a 22-year-old man was killed in a car accident giving Clark a second chance a life with a kidney transplant. The kidney continues to function well 31 years later.

“Some of us say we want to meet the Lord whole – with all our organs – but the Lord will understand if you are an organ donor,” Clark said.

Transplant recipients are not the only people who place a strong significance in organ transplants. One northwest Ohio family decided to donate their 19-month-old son Wesley’s organs after he was pronounced brain dead with no hope of recovery.

Wesley’s parents said on the Life Connection of Ohio Web site: “If we couldn’t have a miracle, we’d give that miracle to someone else.”

Wesley’s parents knew that others would be given a chance for life giving them some hope in a hopeless situation. His liver saved the life of a 14-month-old girl and a near death 17-day-old baby boy received Wesley’s heart. Two other people received the gift of sight from Wesley’s corneas.

In April of 2004, Students for Organ Donations held its first national round of major registration campaigns, holding events on seven college campuses. The largest campaign was at Yale University, which registered over 1,100 students. By the end of the 2003-2004 school year, students from more than 20 universities had joined the effort.

Those interested in volunteering call 419-957-1844.

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