Honors student helps raise awareness for organ donation
The loss of one’s parent is tough.
Honors Sophomore Alyssa Krieger was 16 when her father passed. However, thanks to his willingness to be an organ donors, doctors were able to successfully use his father’s lungs to save the life of another person.
Six months later, Krieger’s family received a letter from the recipient. “It really impacted me in the way that I was experiencing my dad’s death,” she said. Now, she is turning her grief into a passion for raising awareness about organ donation.
She started volunteering with the Gift of Life organization as part of her senior project in high school, and has spent the last year-and-a-half doing multiple outreach efforts in her community. Thanks to her latest effort with Wayne State University’s sorority group Alpha Gamma Delta, she helped WSU win the Gift of Life Michigan Campus Challenge for the fifth consecutive year.
Colleges and universities from across the State of Michigan are invited to participate in Gift of Life’s challenge. Over the course of five weeks, which began in late January and ran through the month of February, Krieger and her group signed up 504 student donor registrations.
Students registered to be either organ, tissue, or eye donors.
Krieger and her sisters were presented with a candy filled trophy during a ceremony on Wednesday, April 20.
“I really connected with them (Alpha Gamma Delta) because Gift of Life was really close to their hearts too, which is why they have won the past four years, because they had a sister pass away waiting for a lung transplant,” Krieger said.
In addition to winning the Gift of Life Michigan Campus Challenge, Krieger appeared on a segment of Amy’s Angels, which airs on Fox 2 News in Detroit during its morning show The Nine. She interviewed with Fox 2 News reporter Amy Andrews after working with organ recipient Nicholas Giannamore, a double-kidney recipient, during the Campus Challenge.
The Fox 2 News segment can be viewed here.
According to giftoflifemichigan.org, a single person can donate up to eight organs, and can improve the lives of up to 50 people through tissue donation.
Currently there are more than 123,000 people on the organ transplant list in the United States, 3,500 of which reside in the State of Michigan. According to Krieger, an average of 21 people die per waiting while waiting for a life-saving organ.
“A lot of the people that go on the transplant waiting list do not expect to get an organ because there is such a low chance, but just by signing up and getting that heart on your driver’s license you have that ability to have the potential to save eight lives and impact 50,” she added. “So you can make a really big impact just by signing up.”
Krieger added that it takes 30 seconds to sign up.
To sign up, you can visit giftoflifemichigan.org, www.michigan.gov/sos, or stop by your local Secretary of State Office branch.