Feb. 24, 2010
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -
On Wednesday, February 17th, over 130 student athletes, coaches, and staff members gathered to listen to Gina Cousineau talk about the importance of blood, blood platelet, bone marrow, and organ donations. The impetus for this presentation was LMU men's water polo coach John Loughran's Acute Promyeloctyic Leukemia (APL) diagnosis in December.
Ms. Cousineau was brought to campus via the efforts of assistant water polo coach Cara Colton, SAAC E-board member Casey Flacks, and Lead Student-Athlete Mentor Gina Castagnola. Ms. Cousineau shared the story of her son, Evan, and to honor him, has dedicated herself to informing the public about the necessity of donating organs, bone marrow, blood, and blood platelets. According to Castagnola, "She is empowering people with information about donating."
In her presentation, Cousineau stated, "Our bodies can be recycled. Individuals can donate blood every 56 days, yet, only 2-3% of people donate." She encouraged everyone to become an organ donor through the Organ Donor Registry. "We can also prevent others from suffering," she said, "by getting the pink dot on our driver licenses." She concluded by reminding the audience, "We are able to save lives because of Coach Loughran's diagnosis. He is encouraging others to donate and save the lives of patients in need." Men's water polo player, Charlie Horton said, "I came for Coach; the importance of this event was to get the word out about giving, donating blood, and helping others."
At the end of the speaking engagement, over 60 people added their name to the National Bone Marrow Registry; and, Tom King, Assistant Director of Campus Service, informed the audience about the upcoming, campus-wide LMU Blood Drive on February 23-25. "I am proud of what we have done at LMU in terms of blood donation," King said. "We talk about being men and women for others. This spring the campus goal is to collect over 600 pints of blood."
In addition, half the proceeds from the upcoming SAAC sponsored Mr. LMU event will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Likewise, the Men's Water Polo team, LMU Athletic Department coaches and staff, friends of Coach Loughran, and the Pepperdine men's water polo team will be contributing to the Relay for Life fundraiser on March 19-20 at LMU, benefiting the American Cancer Society.
One family, one community has the chance to make a difference.