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Organ donations receive attention in La Crosse, with a hospital flag raising for “National Donate Life Month”



Hospitals around the U.S. are promoting organ and tissue donation during April by raising special flags encouraging the public to “Donate Life.”

One such flag raising happened Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse. People whose families have donated or received organs took part in the outdoor ceremony.

The flag honors National Donate Life Month, calling attention to the ongoing need for organ and tissue donations.

“It’s important because it honors everyone that’s been through this process,” Anja Drogseth, a liaison for organ donation at Mayo, said. “All of the people that have donated, all of the families that have chosen to make that hard decision, and just all the hospitals kind of at the same time, it’s a movement in unity to kind of show support throughout the nation.”

Drogseth added that tissues and organs for transplant are often hard to come by, noting that only three percent of people who die in a year may have organs healthy enough to be donated to others.

Among those attending the flag raising event was Mary Bubbers, the mother of a young man who died after a car crash, well after deciding to be an organ donor.

Bubbers said the subject of donation came up following her son’s accident two decades ago.

“And I said, there’s nothing to think about,” Bubbers, who also has been a recipient of a donation after an accident, said. “When he was 16, and got his driver’s license, without any elbowing or prodding from his mother, he consented to that on his driver’s license, so he had made that decision for us.”

Bubbers added that “accident victims that need bone to help reconstruct broken bones, and skin grafts. Those are all life-changing things for people, as well. “

A community luncheon promoting organ donation is planned at Viterbo University on April 18.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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