April is National Donate Life Month and the Transplantation Interest Group, a student-run group whose goal is to “advance knowledge and awareness about transplantation among medical students and empower them to engage with the transplant community” closed out the month with UVA Donate Life Week.
Twenty-two people die each day waiting for an organ that never comes. Their hope is that Donate Life Week (April 22-29) would spur discussion, improve awareness, and close the gaps between supply and demand of organs for transplantation.
They started Donate Life Week with a kick-off mixer at the Biltmore, had a unique opportunity to hear from a recipient and her donor, engaged in a discussion with members of the bioethics department about ethical questions surrounding transplant medicine, and 20 lucky students (randomly selected) joined Dean David Wilkes and Dr. Shawn Pelletier, Associate professor of Surgery, at Crozet Pizza for an informal discussion surrounding transplant. The week ended with a big donor registration drive in the Health Sciences Library where they offered cookies, coffee, and cuddles with UVA therapy doggies (more photos and video below from this event).
This week of awareness and education was sponsored by the UVA School of Medicine, Donate Life, LifeNet Health, the Bioethics and Health Policy Interest Group, and UVA Transplant.