The University of Michigan defeated Ohio State twice this season, before even taking the football field for the big game, signing up more people to the state’s organ donor list and collecting more pints of blood in two annual challenges.
The U-M signed up 108,984 donors to Ohio State’s 59,942 in the Wolverine-Buckeye Challenge for Life that ended at midnight on Thanksgiving.
The U-M collected 2,628 pints of blood during the two-week Blood Battle contest, which is in its 30th year. Ohio State collected 2,402.
U-M officials acknowledged the storied rivalry between the two schools make these challenges fun, but the real winners are those who are waiting for a organ, tissue or cornea transplant or who need crucial blood donations.
Every day, 19 people die while waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and another 138 people are added to the national waiting list. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and more than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
The two challenges were promoted by Wolverines For Life, a group dedicated to encouraging organ, tissue, eye, blood, and bone marrow donation by U-M employees, patients, students, alumni, fans and everyone in the state of Michigan. Wolverines for Life is a collaboration between the U-M Health System, Michigan Athletics and other U-M groups like the community service organization Alpha Phi Omega, along with the American Red Cross, Gift of Life Michigan, the Michigan Eye-Bank and the Be the Match Foundation.
U-M won the Blood Battle in 2010, 2009 and 2008. The Blood Battle is organized and run by Alpha Phi Omega, a student-run volunteer organization, in cooperation with the Red Cross. Organizers set a goal of 2,550 pints this year. In 2010, the score was U-M 2,615 pints and Ohio State 2,515.
U-M co-sponsors the Wolverine-Buckeye Challenge for Life with Gift of Life Michigan, which is the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization.
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