2017 Transplant and Organ Donation Calendar: Carol Hay
Carol Hay's vocation as an organ donation proponent began just two months after she received a kidney transplant at University Hospital in 2011.
She wanted to pay homage to her donor and his family, so she began speaking about donation at driver's education classes across the state and staffing a booth at donation events. In 2015, she became co-chair of Donate Life Wisconsin's Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Committee.
Together, she and co-chair Mary Nachreiner of UW Organ and Tissue Donation (UW OTD) led a team that created a two-year strategic plan to improve registration rates.
Carol now serves as a community outreach coordinator on the UW OTD staff. Her primary goal is to increase the number of people who are registered donors.
"A tragic accident is a terrible situation for a family," she says. "When the victim has made the decision to be an organ donor himself, that is one less decision his family has to make."
The community outreach team works with DMVs throughout Wisconsin and participates in community events where it can educate more people about what it means to be an organ, tissue and eye donor. There are more than 170 volunteers who help team members with their mission - staffing booths, talking to community groups and presenting to hospital staff.
"Most of our volunteers have a close connection to donation," says Carol. "It becomes their passion to educate more people about how donation has changed their life."