February 3, 2014

Annual Gift of Life Campus Challenge aims to sign up 3,000 new organ donors

Wayne State University vying for third consecutive win

Since 2012, WSU has won the trophy for adding the most new names to the donor registry. 

Using college rivalries and a competitive spirit for social good, college students across the state are encouraging their peers, professors and community members to sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. During the six-week Gift of Life Campus Challenge, nearly a dozen schools -- including Wayne State University -- will compete to sign up the most people to the registry.

Participating colleges will encourage students, faculty and other supporters to sign up through email messages, social media, public service announcements, posters, and at donor registry stations in student unions and at athletic events.  

Over the years, the WSU community has been inspired by the memory of student Rebecca Joy Butler, daughter of associate business professor Timothy Butler. 

Rebecca, 20, was pursuing a marketing degree at Wayne State when she was diagnosed with a rare lung disease. While waiting for a transplant, she learned that 100,000 people were also awaiting organs and made it her mission to start a donor registry at WSU. She died in May 2011, still waiting for a lung. 

Since 2012, Wayne State has won the trophy for adding the most new names to the donor registry. Last year, the university inspired more than 1,100 people to sign up. 

More than a dozen student organizations have signed on to help Wayne State keep its winning title in 2014.  

"We know Michigan State University wants the trophy back, so we're trying to register more than 1,000 new donors," says Beverly Butler, Rebecca's mother. "Almost everyone knows someone who has been touched by organ donation. We know that not everyone will register, but at least we're getting them to think about it. That's what this campaign is all about -- awareness."

The Gift of Life Campus Challenge concludes Thursday, Feb. 27 at 11:59 p.m. To register, visit www.giftoflifemichigan.org/go/waynestate.

The Gift of Life Campus Challenge is one of the most successful organ donation college outreach programs in the nation, and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for its exceptional results. Gift of Life Michigan is the state's federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization, which acts as intermediary between donors, their families and hospital staff. Gift of Life Michigan, in collaboration with the Michigan Eye-Bank, provides all services necessary for organ, tissue and eye donation.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 28,000 students.


Rasheda Williams
Phone: 313-577-8094
Email: rasheda.williams@wayne.edu