Signing up for the national donor registry takes no more than one minute. By registering, one donor could end up saving multiple lives. Photos by Sheila Paz
The Carolina-Clemson game is approaching, which means the Donate Life South Carolina Duel and the Carolina-Clemson Blood Drive are back. Since 2009, the University of South Carolina and Clemson University have battled each year over football and who can register the most organ donors and donate the most pints of blood.
The Donate Life SC Duel began Monday and will run until the game on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Students will host a booth in Russell House, a spot central to the UofSC campus, to provide education about why joining the organ donor registry is important and help individuals join the state and national registry. Students can also donate blood in Russell House in the annual battle to replenish the Red Cross blood supply.
“Students have been going full force each year. It’s a very fun, comradery type duel that they do together. Wonderful to see all the students out there and advocating for their school, all the alumni. Any individual across South Carolina, we welcome,” said Tracy Moore, CEO and executive director at Donate Life SC.
Donating organs has a lasting impact on those who need transplants. According to Donate Life SC, one donor can save up to eight lives, restore two people’s eyesight and heal around 125 lives.
“It sounds a little daring the organ donor registry, but it’s definitely something to be a part of because you don’t know who may be able to help in the long run,” said Ciarra Dalmolin, a student volunteer for Donate Life SC.
Donate Life SC’s top mission statement is to educate and provide the public with information about donating organs. It’s important to debunk any myths about organ donation and provide proper facts because there are “106,000 individuals in America waiting for life-saving transplants and out of those, 1,500 are South Carolinians,” said Moore.
One of those South Carolinians is Thomas Ulmer. Ulmer received the “Gift of Life” last year, receiving a liver transplant that saved his life. It is not always easy for a transplant to take place, there are several requirements that are necessary.
“You can’t just use anybody’s liver. You have to be the same blood type, I can’t have a liver of someone who is six-five, six-six because it won’t fit in my body. You have to have the perfect match, it doesn’t matter where on the list you are until you get the right match,” said Ulmer, 29-year-old resident of South Carolina.
Supporting your favorite team is as easy as stopping by the campuses or going on Donate Life SC’s website.
Click here for UofSC Gamecocks
Click here for Clemson Tigers
Chris Heyburn manager of Trew Friends National Clubs and Robbie Pokora the student organization president at UofSC speaking to passerby’s encouraging them to sign up. Trew Friends is an organization that advocates for organ, cornea and tissue donation at many colleges across there U.S.
Donate Life South Carolina will announce at the game who won the duel.
Thomas Ulmer is a graduate from UofSC and was connected to Donate Life SC through his grandmother.