‘Stand Tall With Cody’ And Become An Organ Donor

In a normal year, Cody Crandall would have spent much of this month in the Jamestown Community College gymnasium covering either the Jayhawks basketball teams or Section 6 basketball playoffs.

As you’ve likely read, this is anything but a normal year for Cody. Instead of covering sports, Cody, an otherwise healthy 24-year-old, is at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester awaiting a heart transplant.

Rather than wallow in his rotten luck, Cody has attacked his diagnosis by raising awareness of the need for organ donation. Cody’s story is touching, and we hope sharing it will move you to help out, too.

The Post-Journal and Jamestown Community College are teaming up to raise awareness and, hopefully, the number of organ donors. The college will have men’s and women’s basketball games Feb. 14 (5:30 and 7:30), Feb. 21 (5:30 and 7:30) and Feb. 24 (1 and 3). At the end of February, Section VI boys and girls basketball playoffs will be held in the JCC gym, beginning Feb. 26 and running the entire week. We estimate there will be 10,000 people who will be at the gym at some point during the tournament. “Standing Tall with Cody Crandall” wrist bands will be available for $1 and a 50-inch flat-screen donated by Acme Appliance will be given away. JCC’s basketball teams will be wearing specially designed “Stand Tall for Cody” T-shirts during warmups. All proceeds will go to Cody’s family to help defray the cost of travel/meals back and forth from Jamestown to Rochester.

Raising money will be wonderful for the family, but there is an urgent need for organ donors. Only 28 percent of New Yorkers are registered to donate organs, compared with more than 54 percent nationally. According to Donate Life New York State, a New Yorker dies every 17 hours waiting for a transplant. According to Strong Memorial Hospital’s online newsletter, the number of people who need organ transplants far exceeds the number of organs donated each year. There are nearly 10,000 people in New York who need an organ transplant, according to the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, the organ procurement organization affiliated with the University of Rochester Medical Center, in partnership with other Upstate New York hospitals. About 450 people, including Cody, are on Strong Memorial Hospital’s heart, liver, kidney or pancreas transplant program waiting lists.

For each college and sectional game, JCC plans to have a table set up with computer access so that people can register to become organ donors. Consider standing tall for Cody Crandall and the thousands of people like him by joining the state’s organ donor registry online at either passlifeon.org or donatelife.ny.gov.