Michigan schools give Gift of Life

Lucy Hough

Northern’s Volunteer Center and Students for Organ Donation are hosting the Gift of Life Campus Challenge from Jan. 14 to Feb. 25.

This competition encourages NMU students, faculty, and staff to sign up for organ donation in competition with other Michigan colleges. At the time of publication, Northern was in third, behind University of Detroit — Mercy and Grand Valley State University. The school with the highest number of people registered receives a trophy.

NMU has won the competition once in the five years it has been involved. Last year, Northern did not win, but 386 students registered for organ donation.

“We had less than 5 percent of the university; we would love to increase that. It’s free, and there is no obligation,” said senior Jaime Engvall, Volunteer Center coordinator and Spanish and international studies major.

According to the Michigan Gift of Life Web site, the organization hosting the competition, 3,024 people in Michigan are currently waiting for an organ transplant as of Jan. 1. In 2008, 291 organs were transplanted.

“Organ donation is incredibly important because it has a potential to save lives, and it’s also something that if you make the decision it relieves your family from having to make a decision later,” said Engvall.

A table will also be available to allow students to register at the blood drive during Winterfest on Feb. 17.

Students interested in registering for organ donation can go to www.giftoflifemichigan.org.