Students promote gift of life | RecordCourier.com

Students promote gift of life

by Sheila Gardner

At age 15, Corey Trujillo and his classmates are focusing on a topic that gives pause to many adults.

Corey, Marissa Delgadillo, 14 and Alyssa Kangas, 14, are promoting organ donation awareness as their Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School leadership class community service project.

So far, they have sold commemorative bracelets, staffed two information tables at Raley’s and created a float for the community Parade of Lights Dec. 3.

“If you donate your organs, you can help 100 people when you die,” Corey said.

Corey took his inspiration from his grandmother, Judy Williams, and his mother, Miki Trujillo.

“My grandmother is doing a similar project and that helped us,” he said.

The trio of students raised $100 selling bracelets and poured the money into a float for the Parade of Lights earlier this month.

“We thought the float was kind of Christmas-y,” Corey said.

There were a few problems: The generator went out and the weather wasn’t very cooperative.

“We spent almost 25 hours on the float,” Corey said. “When the lights were on, it was beautiful.”

The students also had a booth outside Raley’s.

“We went twice,” he said. “It was tough. A lot of people gave us the cold shoulder, but many people wanted to know more. A lot of people said they were organ donors.”

There is no age limit to be an organ donor.

Anyone over 18 can sign a donor card or express their wishes to family members. People under 18 may donate with parental consent.

The condition of the organ is what determines its suitability.

Organs that can be donated include the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, small intestine and kidneys.

Tissues that can be donated include corneas, skin, bone, heart valves, connective tissues, blood vessels and bone marrow.

Statistics indicate there are more than 83,000 people on the national transplant list. On an average day, 16 people will die waiting for a donor organ.

Corey said he and his mother are donors and one of his closest friends became a donor as a result of the students’ leadership class project.

“It becomes part of my will,” he said. “Of course, if I die it will be my mom’s decision, but she knows my wishes.”

He’s too young to drive, but encouraged potential donors to make sure the information is on their drivers’ licenses.

“Tell your family,” he said. “You’re family can make a donation.”

Corey has been in the leadership class for two years. He also is the student body treasurer.

“Leadership class is one of the most awesome things I do,” he said. “You get to do things that really humble you like volunteering at Project Santa. And you get to work behind the scenes.”

Being in leadership has taught Corey responsibility and management skills.

“Last year, our community service project went completely down the drain,” he said. “We were collecting things for a local orphanage. We got halfway through the project and learned we didn’t have an orphanage.”

The students are to present their project results in January.

“I am 110 percent glad I did it,” he said. “I got so much joy out of this project and had so much fun. I thought it was awesome.”

ON THE WEB

The Transplant Network

http://www.thetransplantnetwork.com

Nevada Donor Network

http://www.nvdonor.org

Organ and Tissue Donor Task Force

http://www.giftoflife.nv.gov

DONATION INFORMATION

n Anyone over 18 can sign a donor card or express their wishes to family members. People under 18 may donate with parental consent.

n Organs that can be donated include the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, small intestine and kidneys.

n Tissues that can be donated include corneas, skin, bone, heart valves, connective tissues, blood vessels and bone marrow.

n Statistics indicate there are more than 83,000 people on the national transplant list. On an average day, 16 people will die waiting for a donor organ.

Source: Nevada Donor Network, Inc.