Students wearing bright green T-shirts flooded Cooper Field to show their support for organ donation on Wednesday, forming a “living green ribbon.” The living ribbon was symbolic of the organ donation ribbon, which is being displayed the entire month of April in honor of National Donate Life Month.
USF’s Get Carded was the first event of its kind ever held on campus. USF is one of six Florida schools participating in Get Carded this month; other participating schools include the University of Florida, the University of Central Florida, the University of North Florida, Florida Atlantic University and Florida State University.
Lindsey Herrup, who participated in Wednesday’s event, had a personal experience with a tissue transplant.
“I had a friend who needed a bone marrow transplant and I couldn’t donate because we didn’t match, but knowing that I can still help others by getting a donor’s card makes all the difference,” Herrup said.
“A lot of people I know are affected by this,” said Reggie Blain, whose reason for participating hit closer to home. “I had a cousin who needed a liver transplant, and I want to help out others like him.”
According to the Get Carded Web site, more than 87,000 children and adults will need organ transplants this year. Betsy Edwards, the USF Get Carded public relations director, said that just one person could make a huge impact on the lives of others.
“Through this event, Get Carded hopes to not only create a symbolic living green ribbon, but also to educate our university students on the life-saving importance of organ and tissue donation,” Edwards said. “One organ and tissue donor has the potential to change the lives of 60.”
The event featured free food, music by WBUL and giveaways. Every participant received a free green T-shirt that showed support for the Get Carded event.
LifeLink, which co-sponsored the event with the Florida Coalition, handed out pamphlets and organ donor cards to students to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
Signing an organ and tissue donor card to carry in your wallet, sharing your decision to be an organ and tissue donor with your family and having “organ donor” on your driver’s license are all ways to get involved in organ and tissue donation. For more information on how you can help save, visit www.getcarded.org .