Jen Ziobro: Saves Lives, You Can Too!



By: Vanessa Salman


Syracuse University student Jen Ziobro pioneered the program Orange Unite Donate Life, which educates students about organ, eye, and tissue donation. Despite what preconceived notions you may have about this process, Ziobro sets the record straight through her teachings.

A native to the area, Jen had her heart set on SU from the get go. Currently a senior public health major in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics and Director of New Member Education of Alpha Phi, Ziobro is quite active in the Orange community. By taking on this endeavor, she is adding onto the legacy she will leave behind in the spring.

Taking after her mother, who she described as very philanthropic, Ziobro grew up doing volunteer work, such as working at the Francis House, Upstate Medical Center, and Meals on Wheels. She says that crafting this program was just an innate thing for her to do.

Orange Unite Donate life is an educational awareness program designed by Ziobro to bring attention to organ, eye, and tissue donation. The goal of this, in addition to educating and clearing the air, is to encourage students to enroll to become donors. Her intention is not for you to make an instantaneous decision to add that little heart onto your driver’s license, but to become well informed and ultimately make this personal decision that could save lives.

Some of the statistics that most are unaware of is the impact a donation made by just one person could have. One eye donor can save up to six people, one tissue donor can save up to more than 50 people, and one organ donor can save up to eight people.

Here are a few myths addressed by this program:

1. Myth: If I am in an accident and the hospital staff knows I am a donor, the medical team will not try to save my life.

Truth: Organ, eye, and tissue recovery takes place only after all efforts to save your life have been exhausted and death has been legally declared. The medical staff providing treatment to you and the donor program is completely separate

2. Myth: Donation disfigures the body.

Truth: Donation is a surgical procedure performed in a sterile operating room, in which the person’s body is treated the same way a surgical patient would be treated. This process does not disfigure the body.

Not a public health major, but want to learn more? That’s okay! Ziobro hopes to expand her education series by recruiting and presenting to all of the other colleges within Syracuse University. She will continue this program throughout her remaining time here at SU, and hopes to keep it thriving after she graduates.

To get involved, “Like” Orange Unite Donate Life on Facebook, Tweet them @DonateLifeSU or e-mail for more information.

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