Miss Mississippi to promote organ donation with programs

By Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Organ transplants will get the royal treatment in Tupelo on Monday.
Miss Mississippi 2010 Sarah Beth James, a Mississippi State University student from Madison, will continue her work spreading awareness about the importance of organ donation at two programs.
A meet-and-greet reception will start at 6:30 p.m. Monday at BancorpSouth Conference Center behind the Hilton Garden Inn and include a brief program sharing the personal experience that inspired her to take on donor awareness as her public platform. The program is free and open to the public.
“We’d love for as many people as possible to come,” said Charlotte Mullinnix, corporate communications director for the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency.
James, who is the granddaughter of Slayden and Ruby Murphree of Tupelo, also will speak to Tupelo Rotary Club on Monday.
The need for people to be willing to donate their organs after death is large. There are about 1,200 Mississippians waiting for transplants at centers in Mississippi and neighboring states, Mullinnix said.
One of the most important things people can do if they are willing to be a donor is sign up on the donor registry and tell their families about the decision.
In 2010, they had 76 recovered organ donors, who provided 207 organs for transplants, Mulinnix said. However, only 10 of those had signed the donor registry, leaving their families to have to make the decision.
As part of Donate Life month, XPress Lube locations in Tupelo and Booneville are supporting donor awareness through the public reception and the sale of a coupon book, which will be available at the Don’t Be Cruel Barbecue festival at the Link Centre in Tupelo today.