Monday, May 18, 2009

Delaware Greeks Support Organ & Tissue Donation

UD students get twisted to support organ, tissue donation
Contributed for Gift of Life Donor Program


A statewide initiative to promote organ and tissue donation will culminate Thursday, May 21, when students at the University of Delaware hit the mat to play Get Twisted. Students will twist around each other on a giant floor mat to reach a designated organ – heart, lung, kidney or liver – symbolizing how organ donors intertwine their lives with others.

The event is being co-sponsored by the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity and the Delta Gamma sorority, and will include an appearance by Delaware Lt. Governor Matthew Denn, a strong supporter of organ and tissue donation.

“When you designate yourself as an organ and tissue donor, you demonstrate your commitment to saving lives,” said Lt. Governor Denn. “Get Twisted provides a very visual representation of how lives connect through organ and tissue donation. In Delaware alone, there are 538 people awaiting a transplant that will save their lives and I applaud the universities and their students for their support of this important health issue,” he added.

All students participating in the games have received information about the importance of organ and tissue donation, and have been encouraged to sign up to become donors by visiting http://gettwisted.donatelife-de.org.

“Our fraternity is excited to co-sponsor this event. It’s a great way to get the word out about a really important issue that impacts everyone,” said Rob Greathouse, special projects chair, Kappa Delta Rho fraternity.

The University of Delaware’s Get Twisted event follows recent games held at Delaware Technical and Community College (Owens Campus), and Delaware State University. The initiative is sponsored by Gift of Life Donor Program, the region’s organ and tissue donor program, in collaboration with the colleges and sponsoring student organizations.

As of January 2009, 293,984 people were designated organ donors in Delaware, representing 40.66 percent of the population. Gift of Life has a goal of increasing donor designations by an additional 15,000 people during 2009. These events are part of activities planned to raise awareness and help people learn how easy it is to sign up and to designate themselves as organ donors.

Since 1974, Gift of Life has served as the link between donors and patients awaiting life-saving transplants in Delaware, the eastern half of Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. In that tenure, the Organ Procurement Organization has coordinated more than 28,000 life-saving organ transplants and hundreds of thousands of tissue transplants. For more information on organ and tissue donation, please call Gift of Life at 1-800-DONORS-1 or visit www.donors1.org.