ANN ARBOR (WXYZ) - The University of Michigan's largest life-saving donation drive, takes place Sunday, November 17, at Michigan Stadium. Participants can give blood or register as an organ, eye, tissue or bone marrow donor from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The massive donor drive, which is in its third year, is free and is located in the Jack Roth Stadium Club, where attendees can get a VIP view of the famous stadium. Parking is free on the Crisler Arena side of the stadium.
The event is sponsored by wolverinesforlife.org, a collaboration between the U-M Health System, Michigan Athletics and other University of Michigan groups, schools and departments, along with the American Red Cross, Be the Match/National Marrow Donor Program, Gift of Life Michigan and the Michigan Eye-Bank.
The event is part of the annual fall challenges between U-M and Ohio State - the Wolverine vs. Buckeye Challenge for Life, the Blood Battle and new this year the Marrow Match-up.
Each school tries to beat the other in collecting blood donations or organ donor or bone marrow sign-ups before their teams meet on the gridiron Nov. 30, this year at U-M. U-M won the organ donation challenge in 2012, but lost in a close race in the Blood Battle.
"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," says Jeffrey Punch, M.D., director of transplantation at the University of Michigan's Transplant Center.
"We don't have enough organs or bone marrow available for those who need life-saving transplants. In fact, about 119,000 people currently are waiting for organ transplants.
That's a few thousand more than the number of people who fill Michigan Stadium for a football game, and that's what makes our annual fall challenges against Ohio State so appropriate."
Those who attend Sunday can tour the club-level seating area and take photos with several Michigan trophies or the stadium as a backdrop.