It was an October night in 2015 that Concordia University Ann Arbor student Elizabeth Getzinger will never forget.
Getzinger, of West Branch, Michigan, was a junior in high school when she found out that her boyfriend Evan Kimball had been in a car accident. Kimball sustained significant injuries and was declared brain dead two days later.
Two years prior, Kimball, 18, had checked a box on his driver’s license application to become an organ donor. Less than a week after the accident, he was able to donate five of his organs to individuals in need, with four being direct donations, in addition to body tissue, skin, and both of his corneas.
Now Getzinger is taking the lead to encourage classmates and students at CUAA to be organ donors by being a liaison for the Gift of Life Michigan Campus Challenge in Kimball’s honor.
“I think that becoming an organ donor is a really simple thing that we can do that has a significant impact,” said Getzinger who is studying to become an elementary education teacher. “I’ve seen with my own eyes the way organ donation saves lives, and it’s cool that this challenge gets so many people involved in organ donation.”
The Campus Challenge has inspired more than 38,000 people to join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry in its 13 years as a competition. Colleges and universities throughout Michigan encourage students to sign-up for the registry with a unique link, aiming for either the most new donors or the most new donors compared to student population. CUAA is 1 of 14 schools in Michigan participating in the challenge this year.
Why do organ donor registration drives matter? (Provided by GiftofLifeMichigan.org)
- Every 10 minutes someone is added to the national transplant waiting list.
- 22 patients die each day because not enough organs are available.
- Joining the Campus Challenge gives hope to more than 3,300 Michigan patients currently waiting for an organ transplant.
- The Campus Challenge also provides leadership experience and resume building opportunities for students, and a positive community service for the whole school to rally around.
The 2018 Gift of Life Campus Challenge runs through Feb. 20, 2018. Anyone can give CUAA points by visiting http://www.giftoflifemichigan.org/become-donor, selecting “School/College” and clicking on Concordia University’s name.
Missed the Feb. 20 campus challenge deadline? You can still register to become an organ donor in Evan Kimball’s honor by visiting www.giftoflifemichigan.org/go/evan.
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.