COLCHESTER, Vt. - For the third straight year, the Saint Michael's College field hockey team is helping community members sign up to become organ donors, organizing a drive in the Alliot Student Center through Donate Life New England that concludes on Friday. Thanks in large part to the long-term work of senior Monica Miles (Dover-Foxcroft, Maine/Foxcroft Academy), team members will be on hand from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. tomorrow to distribute information and assist those interested in becoming organ donors.
Friday is also the National Donate Life Blue & Green Day, when the public is encouraged to wear blue and green in an effort to promote the success of organ, eye and tissue transplantation and the extreme need for registered donors. In conjunction with the organ donation tabling, Saint Michael's has added a pinwheel garden outside Alliot, aiming to raise awareness about the need for registered donors. Through other gardens around the region, each pinwheel has represented such things as a patient waiting for a life-saving organ donation or each successful organ donated. Additionally, April is Donate Life America's 15th annual National Donate Life Month.
Those interested can register to become an organ donor in Alliot and at their local motor vehicle registry, through their iPhone's Health app, or online at registerme.org, donatelifenewengland.org or donatelife.net.
The field hockey program's connection with the Donate Life New England program is twofold, as Maureen Eddy, a local teenager who has been paired with the squad through Team IMPACT, is afflicted with cystic fibrosis. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, more than 2,800 people with the disease have received lung transplants since 1990. The Purple Knights became affiliated with Donate Life New England through the work of Miles, who became interested in getting the team involved after her cousin's organs were donated upon his death. Miles and the field hockey team were supported on Thursday by a visit from Jennifer Cray, the long-time volunteer services program manager at New England Organ Bank and New England Donor Services.
According to Donate Life America, one donor has the potential to affect 75 lives, and there are currently nearly 118,000 men, women and children awaiting organ transplants in the United States. There were 30,974 organ transplants performed in 2015, and more than 695,000 in the past 30 years. For more facts and figures, including daily updates, visit the United Network For Organ Sharing's website at unos.org.