Rowan student event to debunk resistance, register new organ donors
In America, there’s a dire need for organ donors and many people do not receive a lifesaving organ because there simply aren’t enough donors.
Research shows that only about 45 percent of Americans register as organ donors because they buy into myths surrounding organ donation.
On Wednesday, April 9, Rowan University’s Anthony J. Fulginiti Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) will seek to dispel those myths on campus during the 21st annual Organ Donor Day. The event will be held to raise awareness about organ donation and sign donors up.
This year’s event, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on the back patio of the Chamberlain Student Center, will feature a roster of speakers whose goal will be to dispel the myths about organ donation and to encourage students, faculty and staff to become donors.
Among the myths that speakers, and the event itself, will put to rest: doctors put less effort into saving a donor’s life, doctors will remove organs from the body before the donor dies, and donors cannot have an open casket funeral.
“Those beliefs are simply not true,” said PRSSA member and Organ Donor Day director Joe Lehocky, a senior public relations major.
Last year, Rowan students registered about 50 new donors.
“This year our goal is to eclipse that number,” Lehocky said.
Working with the Gift of Life House in Philadelphia, students will register students, faculty and staff as organ donors. In addition to speakers, the event will include the Rowan student band “The Press” and various games and activities.
Organ Donor Day began in 1992 to honor Fulginiti following the kidney transplant that saved his life. This year’s event also honors Fulginiti, who founded the PRSSA chapter and was a Rowan public relations professor for more than 40 years, and his commitment to students on the eve of his retirement.