Local News

Father of former UNC mascot promotes online organ donation

Posted April 30, 2008 4:11 p.m. EDT
Updated April 30, 2008 10:52 p.m. EDT

— The father of the University of North Carolina mascot who died last year is spreading the word about an easy, online way to become an organ donor.

Emmitt Ray’s son, Jason, played the role of UNC mascot "Rameses” for three years. He died after a car hit him during the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Ray was walking along a highway in Fort Lee, N.J., before UNC played its "Sweet Sixteen" game in nearby East Rutherford. He died two days later.

Emmit Ray was on hand for the debut of the Web site Wednesday. The site is designed to reconcile existing lists of organ donors so that new participants can add themselves at any time. Previously, state residents could register only through the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

“We wanted to make the process easier for residents to register as organ, eye and tissue donors,” said Debbie Gibbs of LifeShare of The Carolinas. “In today’s world, the public uses the Internet daily, so our goal is to increase the number of donors by streamlining the process for the general public.”

LifeShare of the Carolinas, a non-profit organ-procurement organization, said the state has approximately 3 million registered donors. Each donor can touch the lives of up to 50 people.