Be a Hero this Sunday at Michigan Stadium

October 26, 2016  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources,

This Sunday is your chance to be a hero. That’s when the U-M Transplant Center is set to host its largest blood and organ donation drive of the year at Michigan Stadium.

“Be a Hero at the Big House,” which is open to all UMHS employees along with the general public, provides attendees with a chance to give blood or join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry and the Be The Match national bone marrow registry.

Every day, 77 people receive a transplant and another 138 are added to the national waiting list for a new organ. The waiting list has grown to 119,947 patients across the U.S — and more than 3,600 in Michigan.

Meanwhile, a single organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives and help up to 50 people with eye, organ or tissue donations.

“Signing up on the donor registry, giving blood or being screened for bone marrow donation is a simple thing to do, but it truly can save someone’s life,” said John Magee, MD, a UMHS transplant surgeon.

That’s why Sunday’s event is so important — and why the U-M community comes together to help those in need. Last year, the “Be a Hero” event collected 404 pints of blood, added 52 people to the bone marrow registry and 50 others to the organ donor registry.

Mark J. Bernstein, chair of the U-M board of regents, made a life-saving bone marrow donation in 2014. He called the experience “an honor and a privilege,” and urged others to register on Sunday.

“Having the opportunity to save someone’s life is a real blessing,” Bernstein said at the time of his donation. “If we can get a few more thousand people registered … there’s no question that will save lives.”

The event — sponsored by Wolverines for Life — promises to be filled with fun activities for the entire family, including games, prizes, a children’s Halloween costume contest, musical performances and a VIP look at the Big House.

The drive also serves as the kickoff to the 35th annual Blood Battle with Ohio State. Each school will try to outscore the other in blood donations before their teams meet on the gridiron on Nov. 26 in Columbus, Ohio.

Here’s what you need to know about the event at the Big House:

  • When: 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 30
  • Where: Jack Roth Stadium Club, Michigan Stadium
  • Parking: Parking is free at the stadium near the club-level doors on the Crisler Center side

Can’t make it but still want to help? Here are some other opportunities for you to assist those in need:

  • Blood Battle: The event is sponsored by the American Red Cross Blood Services Region of Southeastern Michigan, as well as the Washtenaw County American Red Cross Club at U-M, and other student organizations on campus. Blood drives are scheduled around the U-M campus, beginning Oct. 30 and ending Nov. 23. Find a blood drive and make an appointment by visiting the Red Cross website or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
  • Marrow Matchup: Every year, 10,000 patients with leukemia, lymphoma and 70 other life-threatening blood diseases need a marrow or umbilical cord blood transplant but have no donor match in their family. They depend on Be The Match to help them find an unrelated donor and receive the transplant they need. For many, a marrow transplant is their best or only hope for a cure. Learn more at Be the Match.