Bruce Madej and Rishi Narayan received awards for supporting group that promotes life-saving donations of organs, tissue, blood, bone marrow
Wolverines for Life, the University of Michigan’s initiative to promote life-saving organ and tissue donation, honored a U-M Athletics Department official and a local businessman Thursday for their efforts to promote organ, tissue, blood and bone marrow donations.
Bruce Madej, associate athletic director for special projects for U-M Athletics, received the Champion award and Rishi Narayan, owner of Underground Printing in Ann Arbor, received the Community award during the Wolverines for Life spring luncheon.
Madej joined Wolverines for Life as a representative of Michigan Athletics in 2010. He helped to forge the very successful relationship between Wolverines for Life and U-M Athletics.
“Bruce has been a terrific champion for Wolverines for Life,” says Bob Garypie, director of development and communications for U-M’s Transplant Center.
Garypie said Madej first suggested that Michigan Stadium could be used for an unprecedented donor drive last fall, dubbed Be a Hero at the Big House. The event gave participants a chance to sign up for the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, register as a bone marrow donor with the Be the Match Foundation and donate blood with the American Red Cross.
Madej continues to be an active member of Wolverines for Life, and with his assistance, the Be a Hero at the Big House event will return to Michigan Stadium this fall, on Sunday, Nov. 4.
Narayan has been a friend of the Transplant Center for over ten years, Garypie says.
“He has sponsored many of our events and donated in many ways, both on a personal and corporate level,” Garypie says. “Rishi helps many worthwhile causes but has made transplant and donation a priority in his giving because he recognizes all of the good that it does.”
In 2011, Narayan offered to sell Wolverines for Life wristbands at his retail locations: Underground Printing stores on South University and Main streets as well as Moe Sports Shop.
Both men received engraved crystal awards.
U-M’s Wolverines for Life group encourages organ, tissue, eye, blood, and bone marrow donation by U-M employees, patients, students, alumni, fans and everyone in the state of Michigan.
The effort is an remarkable collaboration between numerous schools and departments at U-M along with Gift of Life Michigan, the Michigan Eye Bank, the American Red Cross and Be the Match.
Every day, 19 people die while waiting for an organ transplant and another 138 people are added to the national waiting list — the Wolverines for Life group seeks to change those statistics.
Blood donation is always desperately needed. One pint can save up to three lives. Go to www.redcrossblood.org to register to donate or to learn more.
Bone marrow donors can register at the Be The Match Registry www.BeTheMatch.org.