Students fight organ donation misinformation ahead of National Donate Life Month


Junior clinical leadership junior, Kappa Gamma Beta vice president and UK Hospitals intern, Emily Muller tables inside the Don and Cathy Jacobs Science Building on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Photo by Jelyn Washington-Mays

Jelyn Washington-Mays

Next month marks the beginning of an annual national push for organ donation registration.

According to the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates’ website, April is National Donate Life Month.

Emily Muller, a clinical leadership junior who tables for KODA around campus, said that many students aren’t organ donors because they weren’t fully informed on organ donation when they first checked “no” at the DMV.

“Once you are 30 or 40 years old your mind is pretty much made up,” Muller said. “When you are younger and at the DMV you do not have very much information so you just say ‘no’ because you don’t know any better.”

Muller, who is a UK Hospitals intern and Kappa Beta Gamma sorority vice president, said she has gotten many members of her sorority to become organ donors. But Muller said that organ donation education is her top priority.

Misinformation is “the biggest thing we want to combat,” she said.

“If you sign up for organ donation, great,” Muller said. “But at the very least we want to correct any misinformation that has been spread.”

Donate Life America is a national organization that strives to encourage individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors as well educating the public on live donation, its website said. Donate Life has State Teams in all 50 states as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico.

The state team in Kentucky, Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA), was founded to implement a statewide educational and procurement network on organ and tissue donation. KODA is headquartered in Louisville and has offices in Lexington, Paducah, Pikeville and Bowling Green with operations in 114 counties total in Kentucky, its website said.

Those interested in becoming a donor can do so here, and can volunteer or learn more can do so at KODA’s website.