Stony Brook University students who helped recruit classmates to sign up for the New York Organ Donor Registry included (L-R) Derek Cope, Kenneth Yee, Amanda Pelczynski and Maggie Knight. Credit: Courtesy Photo
A group of Stony Brook University students helped register 118 of their fellow classmates to become organ donors in conjunction with Organ Donor Awareness Month at the annual Earthstock festival on campus on April 19.
SBU students Maggie Knight, Tabitha Yim, Peter Sheh and Nick Serrano helped organized the drive, registering their classmates for the New York State Donate Life Organ and Tissue Donor Registry in just four hours before rain ended the event abruptly.
“I couldn't think of a better place to bring the ‘Hate the Wait’ Campaign than Stony Brook,” said Knight, a 22-year-old senior in the Stony Brook School of Nursing. “This campus has become a leader in so many life-changing initiatives, and the Organ Donor Registry has become one of them.”
Yim added, “The other students and I are thrilled to be a part of such an incredible initiative and we know that Stony Brook will make a difference in the lives of those waiting for a donor.”
Stony Brook University Hospital (SBUH) was the first hospital on Long Island to perform kidney transplants on Long Island when its program began in 1981.
The New York Organ Donor Network (NYODN) and New York State Senators Kenneth P. LaValle and John J. Flanagan were on hand to help out and to honor the late New York State Assemblyman James D. Conte for his advocacy of organ donation.
A graduate of SBU, Conte was a two-time kidney transplant recipient before his death at age 53 in October 2012.
“An organ donation is an invaluable gift that any one of us can give to a loved one or a stranger,” LaValle said. “Organ donation can save a life and change a life. There's no greater legacy.”
The NYODN is targeting those ages 18-35 to become organ donors through its current marketing campaign, called “Hate the Wait.” Visit www.donatelifeny.org for more information.