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Kidney recipient to tell survival story

Did you know there are more than 2,500 people in Ohio waiting for a new kidney, liver, pancreas, heart, lung or intestine?

donatelifelogocolorrgb1The UT chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has invited two-time kidney transplant recipient Tifiro Cook to share his experience with organ donation for its Do It Now College Challenge for Donate Life Ohio and Second Chance Trust Fund.

Cook will talk about the importance of registering as an organ and tissue donor Friday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ingman Room on Main Campus.

“So many people’s lives are hanging by a thread with organ donation being their only hope,” he said.

Cook became ill with a renal disease and received one of his sister’s kidneys in 1993.  That kidney failed four years later due to rejection.

He then waited 15 years and received his second transplant in 2007 through a new process called paired donation.

Paired donation is a procedure that allows individuals who wish to give a kidney to their loved one but cannot because they are incompatible. The donor and recipient are matched with another incompatible donor/recipient pair and the kidneys are exchanged between the pairs.

National Geographic made a documentary of Cook’s journey through this paired donation process at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

The Do It Now Ohio College Challenge is a competition among state schools in order to increase registered organ and tissue donors. The UT chapter of PRSSA has been challenged to register 10,347 new donors by the end of April.

To register as an organ and tissue donor, go to www.doitnowohio.org/ut and click on “register now.”

For more information on this free, public event, contact Brittany Black of the UT-PRSSA at 419.340.5878.