Molik asks students to become organ donors
AUSTRALIA'S new tennis golden girl Alicia Molik went back to school yesterday, trying to persuade teenagers to register as organ donors once they turn 18.
And the message certainly sank in for one classroom full of Melbourne High School boys who were smitten with the star the moment she entered the room.
Molik was at the school to launch the latest Australians Donate campaign Think About It aimed at educating year 10-12 students about organ and tissue donation.
A registered organ donor from the day she got her driver's licence, Molik said it was an important issue for young people to start thinking about when they neared 18.
"This is an issue I feel very passionate about," she said.
"If I can give back to the community and people of the world then I'm more than willing to."
There are 1663 people on the organ transplant waiting list at the moment, but in 2004 there were only 218 organ donors from which 782 people received transplants.
More than five million Australians are registered donors.
The Think About It program is aimed at educating secondary students Australia-wide about donation and encourages them to talk about it with their families.
"It's firstly about raising awareness and then secondly trying to increase the amount of people who do become organ donors," Molik said.
"The more people we have the more chance people have."
Despite a recent increase in registered donors, Australia still has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the developed world.
About 20 per cent of people on transplant waiting lists die.
Australians Donate chairman Marcia Coleman said the Think About It kits had been sent to every secondary school in Australia.
"It is vitally important that all Australians think about organ donation, talk about it with their loved ones and then sign on to the Australian Organ Donor Register," she said. "One organ donor can save or improve the lives of up to 10 people so organ donation truly is a gift of life."