Nursing Students to Raise Awareness of Organ Donation
One organ donor can save up to eight lives, and one tissue donor can save up to 50 lives. These are some of the astonishing facts that the Wegmans School of Nursing, Student Nurses Association, and Sigma Theta Tau hope to share with the campus community when they host a bLifeNY event on Tuesday, November 13, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to raise awareness about organ donation. The event will take place in the School of Nursing Commons.
bLifeNY is a grassroots organ donation awareness group founded by Drs. Mark Orloff and Chris Barry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Members include high school, college, and medical students; transplant professionals; and transplant advocates in the community.
Event attendees will have the chance to win prizes by playing an organ donation myth buster game, and by finding out more about the donation process. In addition, people will be able to register to be a donor in New York State.
According to Tara Sacco, Visiting Assistant Professor, New York is ranked 49th in the country with regards to the number of people on the state organ donation registry.
“This cause is near and dear to my heart, as I have worked with many donor families and transplant recipients in my clinical career,” she said. “Our involvement will help increase the number of New Yorkers on the registry, clarify organ donation myths, encourage families to discuss end-of-life issues, and help the over 116,000 people who are waiting for organ transplants.”
Sacco added that the School of Nursing intends to offer more events in collaboration with bLifeNY in the spring semester.
Nursing student Christen Terrore, one of the students organizing the event, says she feels her job as a steward to the communities she will serve in her profession is to provide education regarding the facts about organ and tissue donation. She has also worked with both transplant recipients and donors’ families, and has seen the burden lifted from families first-hand when they realize their deceased loved one made their wishes known ahead of time.
“This event could potentially have a positive trickle-down effect if students sign up and take home information and knowledge to their families and get other generations talking about this topic,” she said. “The time to talk about organ donation is now, when everyone in your family is healthy, versus waiting for tragedy to strike and be faced with this decision at a time of great stress. This is a chance for our students to be proactive and declare that they would want to be an organ donor.”