Wayne State University

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Wayne State community to celebrate Gift of Life Campus Challenge victory

Wayne State community to celebrate Gift of Life Campus Challenge victory

After weeks of hosting events, posting messages on social media sites and rallying students and supporters to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, Wayne State University came out ahead of the competition in the 10th annual Gift of Life Campus Challenge. The university added the most new names to the donor registry, having inspired 882 people to sign up.

This is the second year in a row that Wayne State has won the challenge, both times defeating Michigan State University.

"We are humbled by the altruistic nature of these college students, and the gift of hope they've given to the 3,000 Michigan patients currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant," said Richard Pietroski, CEO of Gift of Life Michigan, the state's organ and tissue donation organization.

The campus community was inspired by the story of Rebecca Joy Butler, a vibrant 20 year old who was pursuing a marketing degree at WSU when she was diagnosed with a rare lung disease. While waiting for a transplant, Rebecca learned that 100,000 people were also awaiting organs and made it her mission to start a donor registry at the university. She died in May 2011, still waiting for a lung.

In her memory, Rebecca's parents Beverly and Tim Butler, an associate business professor at WSU, and sorority sisters spearheaded a campus-wide campaign to increase the number of registered organ donors.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to celebrate the success of the 2013 campaign and the university's win during a trophy presentation at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, April 1 at Bernath Auditorium inside the UGL.

The Gift of Life Campus Challenge is the largest college-based organ donor registry drive in the nation and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its success. In its 10-year history the Campus Challenge has resulted in more than 33,000 people adding their names to the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.

Michigan residents who join the Donor Registry have a red heart symbol placed on the front of their driver's license or state ID card. For more information, visit giftoflifemichigan.org.