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Swim Team Leads Organ Donation Awareness Effort

College Observes National Donate Life Blue & Green Day

April 19, 2013

About 75 Wilmington College students, faculty and staff joined a half dozen organ transplant recipients in showing their colors on Donate Life's Blue and Green Day Friday at WC.

About 75 Wilmington College students, faculty and staff joined a half dozen organ transplant recipients in showing their colors on Donate Life's Blue and Green Day Friday at WC.

Some 28,052 Americans received organ transplants in 2011. Also, 14,013 persons in the United States donated organs in 2012. More than 1 million tissue transplants are done each year in the U.S. Currently, nearly 120,000 Americans are on organ transplant lists.

These statistics are impressive. But seeing a half dozen healthy persons — ranging in age from two years-old to 50 that have received livers, kidneys and other organs — interacting with Wilmington College students in Pyle Center Friday (April 19) puts faces to the cause of organ donation awareness.

One of those persons was a familiar face, senior Galen Carrington, who a year ago this week had a liver transplant. He went on to continue swimming competitively six months later.

Wilmington College’s swim team led a campus-wide effort in promoting organ donation awareness that culminated with the observance of the national organization Donate Life’s Blue & Green Day April 19.

Following the lunch hour at which swim team members provided information on organ donation, the team led about 75 students, faculty and staff dressed in blue and green outside Pyle Center for a photo, which will be posted on the Website of Life Pass It On.

(LEFT) WC alumnus and transplant recipient Brian Bourgraf, Class of  '87, poses with senior Galen Carrington, a member of the College swim team that had a liver transplant last April.

Missy Holliday, mother of WC sophomore Drew Fields, is organ operations director with Cincinnati’s Life Center Organ Donor Network. She worked with swim teach coach Trip Breen in organizing Blue & Green Day at WC.

Based upon personal experience involving the death of her sister, she encourages young people to let their families know their wishes in the event that they should be in the position to be organ donors

“It’s so much easier for families if they know their loved one’s wishes ahead of time,” she added, noting that the organ donation component on an Ohio driver’s license is a convenient way to accomplish this.

The Website, (www.lifepassiton.org), provides more information on what could be a matter of life and death.