Organ Donation Honors Student

By Olivia Nalugya

Gift of Life Michigan, an institution that coordinates organ and tissue donation processes in Michigan, organized a 6-week organ donation competition among the different colleges and universities in the. The school that attains the highest number of registered donors will be given a trophy at the end of “The Gift of Life Campus Challenge.”

Currently, twelve schools are partaking in the competition. Skylar Young ‘15, one of Emily’s close friends, is the liaison for Kalamazoo College. Young, who just returned from study abroad, has been electronically reaching out to several Kalamazoo College staff members and students to participate in the competition, as well as publicize it. She believes that for Kalamazoo College, the competition should serve a greater significance.

“Alicia Stillman (Emily’s mother) gave me the information and I had to jump on this opportunity because I think it’s a great way to remind campus about Emily, the great cause, and to continue her legacy at Kalamazoo College,” Young said.

Emily Stillman donated her organs, saving about five lives before her own was inevitably claimed by bacterial meningitis last year.

“I want K to win this trophy through this competition and honor her in this way,” Young added. She has been working closely with the Pat Ponto in the Counseling Center to engage the school administration in spreading the word about the competition on campus. She has also been in contact with a free-lance journalist from the Kalamazoo County who is doing some work around the challenge. Young said that she feels like overall the endeavor has received some positive responses.

There have been 815 registrations so far and Kalamazoo College is in second place in terms of percentage of student bodies registered. In other words, 52 K students, staff and faculty have pledged their organs for donation thus far.

There is an announcement on the campus Portal inviting members of the campus community to register their organs for donation and students can follow the link on the website in order to register.

The competition closes Thursday, Feb. 27. As indicated on the campus portal, “you will honor Emily and you might save a life.”

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