LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 3, 2009) − The fierce rivalry on the hardwood between the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville isn't just for hoops. The ninth annual 'Gift of Life Challenge' between the Cats and the Cards is off and running as each school competes for the most number of newly registered Kentucky residents on the Kentucky Organ Donor Registry. The winning school will receive a trophy at the men's basketball game on Jan. 2nd at Rupp Arena.
This life saving competition will hopefully affect more than 740 Kentucky residents on the waiting list for an organ or tissue transplant. Currently, there are over 104,000 people on the national waiting list and every day approximately 18 people die while waiting because an organ did not become available in time to save their life.
The 'Gift of Life' Challenge was originally created nine years ago by UK student ,Amelia Brown, who at the time was on the waiting list for a liver transplant. In 2004, Brown received the gift of life because someone said yes to organ donation.
This year's challenge is motivated by UK Junior Murphy Coy, a 2009 heart transplant recipient who, like Brown, truly knows how important registering to be an organ donor can be to another person's life.
"This is a great opportunity for the Commonwealth to leverage the competitiveness we have for our sports teams to benefit so many of our fellow Kentuckians,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “I am proud of how this project, which was a dream of former student Amelia Brown, is making a difference in communities across the Commonwealth."
Informational booths will be set up outside the Student Center where all UK employees, students, alumni and friends can stop by from 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. Wed., Dec. 2nd and Wed., Dec. 9th.
For those who prefer to register online, go to www.donatelifeky.org to complete the form. Then, click on the drop-down box and credit UK by selecting challenge - UK FAN as your vote to win the challenge.