ISG seeks to educate campus on organ donation


Cindy Om

Source: Office of the Secretary of State

By Haipei Wu, Staff Writer

There are 4,700 people in Illinois on the national waiting list for an organ and/or tissue transplant, and 22 people on the list in the United States die each day.

According to the Illinois Student Government, college-aged people are the least likely to sign up for organ donation among those eligible.

Raneem Shamseldin, senior in Business and president of ISG, signed an executive order on Oct. 20 to form the Life Goes On task force. The task force seeks to educate University students on organ donation.

The Life Goes On task force is an initiative by Spencer Haydary, senior in LAS and chief of staff of ISG. Coming from a community college, Haydary said he got the inspiration for the task force from the Be a Hero campaign, a state initiative that aims to generate organ donation awareness among community colleges.

“I want to take the initiative and bring that program here in a different form, just to get people more informed of how to become an organ donor,” Haydary said.

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The program will circulate through the College of Applied Health Sciences’media outlets and reach out to different organizations and committees that deal with applied science health issues, Haydary said.

Currently, the program’s budget is being discussed with the representatives of the Illinois Secretary of State’s office and local coordinators.

“We are very optimistic about the progress,” Haydary said. “We are even trying to have the secretary of the state himself to make an appearance on campus some time.”

Bridgette Rasmussen, sophomore in AHS and co-chair of the task force, said the force aims to have 1,000 additional registrants from the University this semester.

“The list of people (needing an) organ is growing every day. A lot of people just can’t find organs in time,” Rasmussen said.

“I think students definitely would be able to understand that.”

Rasmussen acknowledged there are personal and religious issues that might deter students from signing up for organ donation. “I know some religions have fundamentals that are against donating body,” she said.

“But with religion aside, I think most people would be on board to become organ donors.”

Haydary said it is common that University students don’t know much about the process of organ donation, but he said it is the purpose of the task force to enhance students’ understandings of the project and encourage them to participate in something that would benefit lives of others in the long run.

“It’s really just a process (that) takes less than two minutes to do,” Haydary said. “I’m looking forward to clear about the myth and misconception about what organ donation is.”


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