MSUM’s Public Relations Student Society of America in conjunction with Alexa’s Hope and Life Source will host a panel discussion on organ donation at 7 p.m. tonight in the CMU Ballroom. The panel will consist of local people affected by organ donation including a mother of an organ donor and a woman who was placed on a waiting list for five years.
Alexa’s Hope was founded by Monica Kersting after her daughter Alexa died waiting for a lung transplant. Both Alexa’s Hope and Life Source work to educate people about organ donation.
Public Relations senior and PRSSA member Blake Loyland saw the importance of the organization and suggested PRSSA get involved. For Loyland, the subject of organ donation is personal.
“I didn’t realize how big of an issue it was until my dad needed one. After he got his transplant I started looking at the facts more,” Loyland said.
Eighteen people die each day waiting for an organ. Last year in North Dakota, only 10 deaths resulted in harvested organs due to a combination of regulations and lack of donors. Today’s panel will confront myths associated with becoming a donor.
“I hope that they realize how important it is to just check that little box on their drivers license. The doctors aren’t going to work less because you’re a donor. It doesn’t affect you that much,” Loyland said.
Loyland has spread her enthusiasm to other PRSSA members. They have been working through April to help spread awareness. On April 19, for National Donate Life Month, members wore green and blue, the colors of organ donation.
“It’s been eye-opening. People will be better off if we can get more donors,” said Brittany Thompson, mass communications senior.
Loyland hopes that Tuesday’s event will ease some of the fear people have and encourage them to become donors.
“It can save someone’s life, “ Loyland said. “Doesn’t everyone want to die a hero?”
BY SARAH TYRE