‘Operation: Organ Freedom’ event to be held April 19


By Michael Wunder, News Editor

MaverickPR, UNO’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, will hold “Operation: Organ Freedom,” as part of the annual National Organ Donor’s Awareness Campaign on Tuesday, April 19.

The event features a panel of Nebraska Organ Recovery System (NORS)  representatives and speakers with military ties whose lives have been impacted by organ or tissue donation.

The day’s events begin at 11 a.m. in the Milo Bail Student Center Plaza with PRSSA members offering snack packs to anyone who registers to be an organ donor.  Current donors can receive the goodies by showing their driver’s license.

From noon to 1 p.m., local folk singer-songwriter Barry Glynn will perform in the MBSC Plaza.

A question-and-answer session will follow from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service Room 132, and will feature military and civilian panelists.

Speakers include:  Air Force Lt Col. Robert Valentine, who donated a kidney to his sister; Army Sgt. Major John Payer, who donated bone marrow to help save the life of an Oregon University student; and Stephanie Lochmiller, public relations coordinator for NORS.

During a 2005 study done on New York college students, only 11 percent of those surveyed declared an intention to register as donors, though 80 percent indicated they were interested in learning more about the topic, according to an article from ScienceDaily.com.

“We need to better educate college students on the importance of organ donation,” said Karen Weber, UNO PRSSA faculty adviser.  “And to help the more than 500 Nebraskans waiting for a life saving transplant.”

Along with PRSSA and Maverick PR, the event is also sponsored by NORS, the federally designated organ procurement organization for Nebraska and Pottawattamie County in Iowa.