Students work to raise organ donor awareness
"If doctors know someone is an organ donor, they won't work as hard to save their life." That is one of the common myths people hear when deciding whether or not they want to become an organ donor. The truth is, organ donation is only considered after efforts to save that person has failed, said senior biomedical engineering major Samy Bendjemil. He founded the Young Organ Donor Awareness Association on campus to raise awareness about the impact organ donation has on peoples' lives.
"It's a really good cause that could potentially save lives. One person's organs can save up to nine lives, but there's a lot of myths that people have about it," Bendjemil said. "Surprisingly, there was not an organization at A&M in place to help spread awareness and create more organ donors, so I decided that it would be a good idea to start one."
Bendjemil is not the only one who sees how much organ donation can change the lives of many. There are other Aggies passionate about a cause that indirectly affects a person in their lifetime and could make several lives easier. Aaron Roberts, veterinary pathobiology graduate student, gives fellow Aggies reasons to join the cause.
"Saving a life is an impact that cannot be spelled out in words; it can only be felt by the people that are connected to the donor and the recipient. Our organization will be focused on bringing that feeling to as many people as possible to inspire them to give themselves," Roberts said.
In their college career, students join different types of student organizations. This organization gives Aggies the chance to save lives through awareness.
"People should join our organization because it is for a noble, lifesaving cause. And if we can increase the donor registry by even a small amount that will have a direct effect on the number of lives, that could possibly be saved," Roberts said. "By attending our meetings you can hear the moving and interesting stories of people affected by organ donation. Our socials and events will bring the people together that share an utmost respect and reverence towards the act of giving the gift of life to another."
It might seem as though future members of this organization will reap only abstract benefits through their awareness, but this organization plans to provide more tangible results to their members. Members will be given the opportunity to see, first-hand, how organ donation has affected Aggies. The organization also plans to have speakers during their meetings who are experts in the field of organ donation.
"We have a faculty adviser who was personally affected by organ donation. We plan on having a few general meetings where we will have speakers from the Southwest Transplant Alliance and our adviser share their stories," said Staci Jessen, senior biomedical engineering major.
Besides raising awareness, the organization is also planning ways to give back to the community.
"Organ donation connects us all through the nobility of humanity. And we as Aggies are responsible for exemplifying that simple selfless humanity by giving even after we are gone to someone we may have never met before," Roberts said. "We do it because the Aggie Spirit and the human spirit go hand in hand."