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WMU challenges 13 other colleges in Gift of Life

Feb. 26, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Now in its fifth year, the Gift of Life University Challenge, which runs through Monday, March 3, gives Western Michigan University supporters an opportunity to show their school spirit while saving lives.

Led by the Student Nurses Association, WMU is joined by 13 other colleges and universities in the statewide organ donor drive. The participating students are battling to save lives and claim one of two grand prizes. At the close of this year's challenge, one trophy will be awarded to the school with the highest total number of donor registrations, and another will go to that which had the highest percentage of student donors.

"Gift of Life Michigan is excited to work with energetic, enthusiastic college students throughout the state," says Tom Beyersdorf, executive director of Gift of Life. "The generosity of these young men and women inspires both campus and community to give the greatest gifts of all--life, sight and mobility."

Anyone who wishes to give the gift of life while supporting WMU in the University Challenge can register to become an organ donor at www.giftoflifemichigan.org. Signing up takes less than a minute, but offers a lifetime to those in need of an organ or tissue transplant. Select the "school/college" option when asked where you heard about organ donation, then choose "Western Michigan University" from the drop-down menu.

Those who register to become organ or tissue donors will receive a red heart on the back of their driver's licenses, and will have their donor information entered into the Gift of Life Organ, Tissue and Eye Donor Registry. The registry is a confidential electronic database that documents Michiganders' wishes regarding organ and tissue donations. Those who have registered as donors in the past can update their information to receive a donor sticker.

Since its inception in 2004, the University Challenge has resulted in more than 17,000 Michigan residents signing up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. Each donor has the potential to save as many as eight lives through organ transplants and to enhance the quality of life for up to 50 people through donated tissues.

For more information, including current University Challenge standings and a link to the competition's Facebook group, visit www.giftoflifemichigan.org.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, (269) 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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