Illini Stories: Professor Brian Quick

August 23, 2012

U of I professor Brian Quick with his father.

Brian Quick is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Quick is an advocate for organ and tissue donation and has served as the principle investigator for several federal grants focused on increasing donor designation rates. But, he also has a very personal connection to organ and tissue donation.  In 1992, his father received a lifesaving kidney transplant. “Organ donation, for me, is very personal.” Quick continues, “Had my father not received a kidney transplant, he would never have seen me graduate from high school or college. He would have never met my wife or my two boys.”

Help Gift of Hope and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign set the Guinness World Record for most organ donor registrations in a day.  You can stop by the Gift of Hope booth on the Quad on August 26th or you can register online TODAY at

-Josh Muller, PR/Marketing Coordinator with Gift of Hope


Donate Life Hollywood Films

July 19, 2011

Each year, Donate Life Hollywood issues grants to filmmakers to assist them with their efforts in creating films that promote organ and tissue donation.  These films are featured as part of the Donate Life Hollywood Inspire Awards and one of them is declared the Donate Life Film of the Year.

In 2010, there were six grants given to filmmakers from across the country.  The Donate Life Filmmakers successfully captured the stories of hope, generosity, transformation and love that define Donate Life.  Their films are featured below.

Let us know which film is your favorite by leaving a comment.

Amanda’s Caretaker

By Matt Radecki

Dear Donor: A Toronto Story

By Luke Mines

Function v Emotion

By David Urbanic

Give Hope

By Demetrius Navarro

Dinner Table Talk

By Paul Madsen


By Erin Staub

Are you a registered organ and tissue donor? Take 30 seconds to register your decision to be a lifesaving organ and tissue donor at

Share Your Story: Part 2

April 14, 2011

“Will to Live” (submitted by Kim McMahon)

William "Will" McMahon

My son William “Will” McMahon was an active, healthy, 16-year-old honor student. During the last week of 2004, he suddenly developed flu-like symptoms. Less than a week later, Will was diagnosed with inexplicable liver failure.

He was flown to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Fla., in critical condition. We were told that, without a liver transplant, he had just 24 hours to live. Miraculously, he received a donated liver in time to save his life. Following his transplant, Will fought bravely to recover and successfully returned home to resume his school work along with his passions of surfing and playing the  guitar. However, five months later, Will developed complications and was relisted on the national transplant waiting list—he needed a second liver transplant. Will was not so lucky this time. A donor liver never arrived, and he passed away on May 19, 2005, as he waited.

My experience has made me an enthusiastic advocate for donation. Following Will’s passing, I founded Donate 4 William, a not-for-profit foundation, in my son’s memory with the goal of educating others about the overwhelming need for registered donors. I spend much of my time speaking to schools, civic groups and other audiences to encourage everyone to register as organ and tissue donors. I also am honored to serve on the United Network for Organ Sharing Patient Affairs Committee where I work to make a difference in organ donation policy and procedures on behalf of patients.

I am motivated to spread awareness about the need for organ and tissue donation because I know that every day 18 people die waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and more than 110,000 Americans currently are on the national transplant waiting list. Regrettably, fewer than half of the eligible registrants in the United States have decided to be organ and tissue donors. We can save the lives of those in need by registering ourselves and encouraging others to register as organ and tissue donors. It takes less than one minute to register your decision to be an organ and tissue donor at DonateLife, the Donate Life America Web site, or at the DLA-affiliated donation advocacy organization in your state. In Illinois, that organization is Donate Life Illinois.

For more information on Will and his story, I encourage you to view the short documentary Will 2 Live.

Kim McMahon

Register your decision to be an organ and tissue donor at

Illinois Students Get Creative to Promote Donate Life Illinois

March 29, 2011

Donate Life Illinois recently partnered with Best New Ad and college students/professors across Illinois to create advertisements that promote organ and tissue donation. Students were asked to create ads in three different categories (print, audio and video) that would encourage others to register their decision to be organ and tissue donors at

Students from more than 20 colleges and universities throughout the state submitted hundreds of advertisements for this contest. The level of creativity shown from these students was off the charts. We are extremely happy with the results and are excited to share the winners with you. Here are the a couple of the finalist and winning selections in the print and video categories:

Finalist (Video) – Advanced Advertising Class – Illinois Institiute of Art

First-Place (Print) – Philip Rau – College of DuPage

 Finalist (Print) – Kevin Millar – Illinois Institute of Art 

What do you think? Post your comments on the Donate Life Illinois Facebook Fan Page. Want to see more ads? Go to Best New Ad to view all of the submissions for this project. 

Donate Life Illinois Campus Challenge – Week 4 Update

November 4, 2009


campuschallenge09It’s time for our weekly update on the 2009 Donate Life Illinois Campus Challenge!

One month into the Challenge and Kankakee Community College is still on top! This week, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana follows in close second with Eastern Illinois University in third place.

Two student newspapers covered the Challenge this past week. Check out the articles from The Columbia Chronicle and the Chicago Flame.

This week, students will also be participating in the Organ Donation Online Update Day. On Friday, Nov. 6, participants will be tapping into their social networks on Facebook by changing their profile photo and posting a dedicated status update while tagging DLI’s fan page. All details and information can be found at the link above.


Nov. 3 Registrations Total = 798

Last but not least, a quick photo submitted from the student nurses at UIUC!



UIUC Student Nurses prepare to register fellow students!

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Organ Donation Video – Waiting for a Second Chance

October 29, 2009

A few weeks ago, members of the DLI team headed down to Charleston, IL to visit Eastern Illinois University to film a video with student Carissa Coon, sister of Bill Coon.

We originally filmed this video to provide some shareable content for participants of our Campus Challenge to pass around to friends, family members and fellow students to help drive home the importance of registering to be an organ donor. While producing the video last week, we received word that Bill had received his lifesaving heart and kidney transplants. Bill’s cousin Natalie, reports that Bill is recovering great.

Take a moment to check out the video below and share with others!


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Donate Life Illinois Campus Challenge – Week 3 Update

October 28, 2009

campuschallenge09After week three of the 2009 Donate Life Illinois Campus Challenge, Kankakee Community College holds on to the top spot with Eastern Illinois University still following in second. U of I and WIU are neck and neck for the third slot.

We were also thrilled to hear that Columbia student Bill Coon received his heart and kidney transplants this past week! Bill’s sister, Carissa, has been highly involved in EIU’s Challenge efforts. Check out this past blog post for a complete update and keep an eye out for a follow-up video featuring Carissa and Bill.

The Challenge was also recently covered in this great article from the College of DuPage’s student paper, the Courier. The Journal-Courier also did a nice article about MacMurray College’s efforts.

We’ll keep you posted with another Challenge update next week.


Current Registration Total:  624


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