with gallery: Hundreds turn out at Big House to give blood, register as organ donors
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The second annual Be a Hero at the Big House donor drive Sunday drew more than 800 people who donated 230 pints of blood and registered as organ and bone marrow donors.
The event resulted in 110 people joining the organ donor registry and 96 being screened as potential donors by the Be the Match national bone marrow registry program, the University of Michigan Health System said.
The event at Michigan Stadium was a project of Wolverines for Life, a collaboration between the University of Michigan Health System and other University of Michigan groups, schools and departments, along with the American Red Cross, Be the Match/National Marrow Donor Program, Gift of Life Michigan and the Michigan Eye-Bank.
Holly Eliot, project manager for the UM Transplant Center, said 300 people had signed up before Sunday's event. "We're as busy as we could possible be," she said.
The blood drive was especially important this year due to superstorm Sandy, organizers said. Mary Masson, senior public relations representative for the University of Michigan Health System, said more then 350 drives were canceled on the East Cost. "That's thousands of donations not being collected," she said.
Joe McNevin, supervisor for Red Cross Southeastern Michigan, said the storm has generated a lot more interest for people to get involved. "That's what it's all about," McNevin says. "Doing our part."
Sunday's totals count toward U-M's annual challenges against Ohio State for organ donation registrations and blood donation collection.
The annual Wolverine-Buckeye challenge allows people to sign up as organ donors upon their death and have their pledge tallied for their favorite school. U-M co-sponsors the Wolverine-Buckeye Challenge with Gift of Life Michigan, which is the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization.
It acts as intermediary between donors, their families and hospital staff.
To sign up and give credit U-M, go to www.wolverinesforlife.org, click on the button to become a donor and sign up for U-M. The challenge ends at 11:59 p.m. Nov. 22, in advance of the Nov. 24 football game between Ohio State and U-M.
You can also participate in the ongoing Blood Battle sponsored by the American Red Cross Blood Services Region of Southeastern Michigan, as well as Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and other organizations. More than 30 drives around the U-M campus have been scheduled. Go to redcrossblood.org to register. Use the promotion code “goblue.”
Information about bone marrow donation is available at www.wolverinesforlife.org.