MILWAUKEE — Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb is trying to raise awareness of organ donation.
The 24-year-old is the public face of a 14-week effort by Froedtert Hospital and Gannett Wisconsin Media to help draw attention to the need for organ donors, according to Press-Gazette Media (http://gbpg.net/1IB5LIR ).
According to the Wisconsin Donor Network, more than 2,300 people are on waiting lists for an organ transplant in Wisconsin. There are more than 123,000, nationally.
Cobb, who has been a donor since the age of 16, met transplant patients last week during a tour of the hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Meeting patients put his efforts in perspective, he said.
"It makes me realize how important this is at a higher level," Cobb said. "I've always felt helping people is important, but when you see the impact you can have on somebody's life, it makes it more obvious how important organ donations are."
The push coincides with a nationwide effort in April intended to draw attention to the need for additional organ donors.
Four hospitals in the state perform organ transplants: Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center; Children's Hospital of Wisconsin; Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin; and the University of Wisconsin Hospital transplant program in Madison.
Candee Biesterveld of Kaukauna met Cobb as he toured the hospital. She received a kidney transplant from a living donor in January and was elated to see Cobb joining the effort to raise awareness.
"We need to get people to know live donors can give kidneys," she told Cobb while standing in her hospital room.