Photo for Headline Surfer / This shot taken from the rafters of the New Smyrna Beach High School gymnasium on Wednesday will be used for a new poster to help high school students throughout Central Florida learn about the importance of organ and tissue donation.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- Some 350 students, along with a few teachers and administrators, formed the No. 8 inside the high school gym Wednesday to symbolize the number of lives that could be saved from the organs of someone who has died.
Though a subject not likely discussed at the dinner table, it is nevertheless important in getting the message out that vital organs can save lives of those in desperate need of a heart, kidney, lungs, eyes and other such organs. That's the message behind "Save 8 Educate!" It's a campaign designed to encourage students and their families to discuss the importance of organ and tissue donation.
"Today, more than 110,000 children and adults await life-saving organ transplants," said Lesley Ann McMillen, spokeswoman for Translife, east Central Florida's not-for-profit federally designated organ donation program that is getting the word out about organ donation.
Education is key to getting the word out to young people who are about to get their driver's license or already have one, but were reluctant to consent to donating their organs should they of a love one perish, McMillen stressed.
"Every individual is asked if he/she would like to be a donor when receiving their driver's license," McMillen said. "More than 90 percent of Americans support organ donation, but only 40 percent have officially made a decision on donation."
The photo taken at the high school on Wednesday afternoon will be used for a poster that Translife will provide to high schools throughout Central Florida to spread the word about the importance of organ and tissue donation as a life saver.