KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt men’s basketball teams are partnering with Tennessee Donor Services to encourage people to sign up to be organ donors.
The teams will face off in Knoxville on Tuesday night. The game will mark the start of the second annual “Be the Gift Showdown,” with a goal of registering 125,000 new organ and tissue donors in Tennessee this year.
According to Billy Jarvis with Tennessee Donor Services, 3,000 people are on the transplant waitlist in Tennessee. For Jarvis, the challenge is personal- he is on the waitlist for a kidney.
Jarvis had his first kidney transplant thirty-two years ago, but it failed recently due to COVID-19. Now, he is hoping to find another match.
“When you get the phone call that someone you’ve never met is going to save your life and give you a chance to go back to work, to be a husband or a father, mother to your kids, just to live life again, it’s unbelievable,” Jarvis said.
“For someone to be so unselfish, and to give on their last act on earth is pretty incredible.”
Fans will be able to vote for their favorite team, enter to win prizes and register to be a donor during the challenge by visiting bethegifttoday.com.