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Georgia Southern University to Host Organ Donation Awareness Event

eagleheadGeorgia Southern University will host an event educating campus and community members about organ donation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, in the Nessmith Lane Continuing Education Building.

At the event, attendees can experience the PBS/Independent Lens film, “D Tour,” an award-winning feature-length film that follows Rogue Wave band member Pat Spurgeon on tour as he searches for a viable match for a kidney transplant.

Audience members will also have the opportunity to engage presenters in a 5-person panel discussion that includes Spurgeon; film director, Jim Granato; Susan Puckett, mother of local donor and former Georgia Southern student Thomas who passed 2008; Tracy Ide, public relations coordinator for Lifelink, a non-profit dedicated to the recovery of life- saving and life-enhancing organs and tissue for transplantation therapy; and Kristine Yager-Rushton, transplant recipient and prospect researcher for Georgia Southern’s University Advancement.

As of Jan. 13, there were more than 110,000 Americans awaiting donations of organs and tissue, but data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network shows that between January and October 2010 there were only about 12,000 donors — clearly not enough to save every life. Rushton, the event’s primary organizer, said there is a critical need for all forms of donors and she hopes the event will dispel common myths and fears associated with donation.

“Unless you are sick, you don’t understand what it’s like to be given a healthy organ. It’s a wonderful gift — a second chance for which we are eternally grateful,” said Rushton, who received a kidney and pancreas transplant in November 1998 after her lifelong battle with type I diabetes. “There are so many people in need and donors can save their lives.”

Event sponsors include the CLEC-Campus Life Enrichment Committee, the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, Donate Life Georgia, LifeLink, the Department of Biology and the Department of Health and Kinesiology.

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