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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Organ donor drive undershooting goal

    The Students for Organ Donation at the UA are well into their three-day organ-donor registration drive, but with only today left, the club is still short of its goal of 500 students.

    The drive is part of the second annual national student Donate Life week, and is part of a nationwide drive to raise awareness about the severe need for organ donors across America, said Lyndsey Rodgers, project director for this year’s drive.

    Last year’s drive saw more than 400 students registered. This year, after tabling on the UA Mall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. since Monday, the club has registered less than 150 new donors.

    “”We’re definitely shy of our goal,”” said Rodgers, a pre-health education junior.

    Last year, 67 people died in Arizona while waiting to receive an organ transplant, according to the Donor Network of Arizona. But despite the obvious need for donors and the fact that one donor can save up to 8 lives, some people still have reservations about donation, Rodgers said.

    “”We’re out here trying to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation,”” Rodgers said. “”At the same time, we want to break some myths that people commonly have about organ donation.””

    Many people are under the impression that having an organ donor classification on your driver’s license ensures that your organs will be donated, Rodgers said. But in 1996 the state of Arizona ruled that this could not be binding because the classifications are issued for such a long time.

    “”A lot of people have the notion that they are donors already,”” Rodgers said. “”It’s not a binding contract, but people don’t realize that it’s not.””

    While other states do recognize driver’s license classifications as binding, Rodgers said this doesn’t help patients waiting on lists in Arizona unless you register here as well.

    Misconceptions like this make the club’s efforts that much more difficult, but it also has to combat myths of a more sinister nature, said Jessica Ortiz, a biology senior and active member of UAOD.

    “”My father thinks that if he’s a donor, he’s less likely to be saved in a hospital situation because they want his organs,”” Ortiz said. “”Some people really think that, but it’s just not true.””

    Despite some people’s negative attitude towards donation, many students were eager to sign up.

    “”I’ve never been an organ donor before,”” said Elise Benadom, a speech and hearing sciences sophomore after registering at the table on Monday. “”I feel like when I’m not in my body anymore that someone else might need an organ, and I could still help them out.””

    Today is the last day for students to register on campus to become organ donors. The club will also be hosting an off-campus registration drive Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. downtown at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. Students can also register online at www.donatelifeaz.org.

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