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Officer encourages others to consider organ donation

CHAMPAIGN -- A UI police officer is helping give the Gift of Life.
CHAMPAIGN -- A UI police officer is helping give the Gift of Life. He's Taking Action and encouraging students to make their mark by signing up to be organ donors. WCIA-3's Jessica Shaw has the story.

A few years ago, Detective Robert Murphy lost his daughter in a car accident. She was an organ donor. He saw what a difference it makes. That's why he continues to share her story.

"One donor can help out 25 people."

It's something Murphy knows firsthand. His daughter, Brittany, helped dozens.

"We lost her in a car accident. I know she gave sight to two people, and through her donation, she helped a lot of other people and I know that would've made her really, really happy."

Now, Murphy talks about how big a role donors play. Last year, he was at Quad Day, helping the UI register students who, like Brittany, also want to give back.

"My grandpa, he got help when he was in need, so I always think it's important to help others."

This year, the university wants to do the same. It hopes to register the most organ donors in one day. The worldwide record is currently held by a group in Canada.

"My theory on it is that, once I've moved on, I don't need my body parts anymore, so if it will help somebody else out..."

Murphy's thought is "why not?" He's seen the good it can do and he hopes students will too.

Murphy says, last year, as soon as students learned about the process and how it worked, they signed up and got their friends to sign up. He says it just goes to show how giving the community is.

Every ten minutes, a new person joins the National Transplant Waiting List. More than 6,500 people died nationwide waiting for an organ last year.

More than 300 people in Illinois died while waiting. The majority of people on the waiting list need a new kidney.

In Champaign County, 53% of those who are eligible have signed up to donate their organs.
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