Nebraska Organ Recovery encourages students to become organ donors

THE GATWAY | Julie Oberlander

Fifty Nebraskans will die each year because they will not receive an organ or tissue transplant, according to the Nebraska Organ Recovery, or NOR.

That means one Nebraskan dies every week waiting for a transplant that never arrives.

To help increase Nebraska’s organ donor registry, Tom Neal, NOR public relations coordinator, gives more than 200 presentations each year including a recent talk at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Neal provides compelling statistics to capture the attention of his audience such as nearly 500 Nebraskans are among the more than 122,000 in the United States waiting for an organ transplant.

Any Nebraskan age 16 or older can donate organs, tissue, bone and corneas, which are extracted after death with no disfigurement of the body.

The demographic 16- to 20-year-olds are in the lowest percentile of registered organ donors. Neal said NOR has problems reaching young Nebraskans because of changing trends in social media.

“We’re just as fast as people’s parents,” Neal said. “It’s tough to capture the attention of (young people).”

As Facebook becomes less popular and teenagers move to Instagram, Neal said it can be difficult for NOR to reach that population through its various social media accounts.

While Nebraskans over 50 years old are easier to connect with, Neal said the group tends to think they are too old to donate organs. Continue reading


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